Mangroves

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What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is captured from the atmosphere by ocean ecosystems, mainly coastal mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes. These coastal areas can hold up...
Photographer Brian Skerry hikes through a mangrove in Bimini (The Bahamas) to...
Mangroves thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that would kill most plants...
This is a close-up view of the peat soil surface in an intact mangrove forest...

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In Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, brown pelicans ( Pelecanus occidentalis ) nest at the top of a mangrove tree. Many other kinds of birds—as well as insects, frogs, snakes, and lizards—live in the canopy of mangroves. More about...
The Island Leaf-Toed Gecko ( Phyllodactylus insularis ) is one of several...
In coastal towns and cities, vast areas now inhabited by super markets,...

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Mangroves are survivors. With their roots submerged in water, mangrove trees thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that...
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill brought the world’s attention to the Gulf of Mexico and raised awareness of the region’s chronic loss of wetlands and the massive dead zone caused by excess nutrients...
Dennis Whigham , a senior botanist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center , makes his quick pitch for why you should care about the wetland plant Phragmites australis . A European strain of...
In Fort Pierce, Florida, researchers at the Smithsonian Marine Station focus on mangroves and other marine ecosystems of Florida. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured story .
In coastal towns and cities, vast areas now inhabited by super markets, houses, roads, parking lots, hotels and schools were once occupied by mangrove forests . Growing out of the ocean and onto the...
How do plants respond to rising CO2 levels? To find out, plant physiologist Bert Drake at SERC exposed marsh plants near the Chesapeake Bay to CO2 levels expected in 50 and 100 years. Different...
The invasive reed Phragmites australis can create new plants through seeds (shown here) or underground rhizomes. Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center have discovered that seeds...
The lettuce sea slug ( Elysia crispata ) has enlarged fleshy appendages that are folded over one another, with colors ranging from blue to green, with purple and red lining. The green coloring is...
Smithsonian research assistant Anne Chamberlain and Marc Frischer from Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in Savannah, Georgia, stride through thick mud covered by algal mats in a mangrove pond at...
An American crocodile ( Crocodylus acutus ) resting on a bed of seagrass . These medium-sized crocodiles are most commonly found in mangrove -lined estuaries and saltwater lagoons between the...
Mangroves are survivors. With their roots submerged in water, mangrove trees thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that would quickly kill most plants. How do they do it? Through a series of...
This creek lined with mangroves is located near the Smithsonian Institution’s field station in Bocas del Toro , Panama. The tangled roots support an amazing array of life. Learn m ore about mangroves...
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, opening up a well that pumped nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the ocean. It was the largest spill in U.S. history. In this presentation...
Dr. Karen L. McKee collects a peat core in a mangrove forest in Belize. It will help her reconstruct how mangroves have changed over the past 8,000 years. Dr. McKee’s research has shown that when...
West Indian Manatees, Trichechus manatus , are found in warm, shallow coastal ecosystems along the southeastern North America and northeastern South America. They graze plants in mangrove ecosystems...
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