Duke, Norman C. (2011). Mangroves. In David Hopley (Ed.), Encyclopedia of modern coral reefs: Structure, form and process (pp. 655-663) Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer Science. doi:10.1007/978-90-481-2639-2

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Author Duke, Norman C.
Title of chapter Mangroves
Title of book Encyclopedia of modern coral reefs: Structure, form and process
Place of Publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Science
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Chapter in textbook
DOI 10.1007/978-90-481-2639-2
Series Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences series
ISBN 9789048126385
Editor David Hopley
Volume number 11
Chapter number 4
Start page 655
End page 663
Total pages 9
Total chapters 20
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Mangroves are one of the world’s dominant coastal ecosystems comprised chiefly of flowering trees and shrubs uniquely adapted to marine and estuarine tidal conditions (Tomlinson, 1986; Duke, 1992; Hogarth, 1999; Saenger, 2002; FAO, 2007). They form distinctly vegetated and often densely structured habitat of verdant closed canopies cloaking coastal margins and estuaries of equatorial, tropical, and subtropical regions around the world (Spalding et al., 1997). Mangroves are well known for their morphological and physiological adaptations coping with salt, saturated soils, and regular tidal inundation, notably with specialized attributes like: exposed breathing roots above ground, extra stem support structures, salt-excreting leaves, low water potentials and high intracellular salt concentrations to maintain favorable water relations in saline environments, and viviparous water-dispersed propagules.

Mangroves have acknowledged roles in coastal productivity and connectivity (Mumby et al., 2004), often supporting high biodiversity and biomass not possible otherwise. Mangrove ecosystems are key sources of coastal primary production with complex trophic linkages (Robertson et al., 1992), as nursery and breeding sites of marine and arboreal life, and as physical shelter and a buffer from episodic severe storms, river flows, and large waves.

In tropical waters, mangrove stands are often sandwiched between two of the world’s iconic ecosystems of coral reefs and tropical rainforests. Biota-structured ecosystems, like these, play a unique role in coastal ecosystem processes via a combination of well-developed linkages, coupled with transient biota uniquely adapted to unusual and often dramatic physico-chemical gradients. Linked and dependent relationships developed over millennia have become vital to the survival of each biome. Colonial corals flourish in shallow warm seas of coasts where mangroves buffer and protect them from land runoff. Mangroves absorb unwanted nutrients and turbid waters stabilizing otherwise smothering water-borne sediments and depositional shorelines. These specialized plant assemblages provide important ecosystem services along with additional acknowledged roles of highly productive habitat and nursery sites. The consequences in disturbing these habitats is likely to have unexpected and far-reaching impacts on neighboring ecosystems and dependant biota (Duke et al., 2007).
Keyword Mangrove forest
Mangrove swamp
Mangrove trees
Sea trees
Tidal forest
Tidal swamp
Tidal wetland
Q-Index Code BX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Book Chapter
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Created: Mon, 15 Nov 2010, 18:04:17 EST by Dr Norman C Duke on behalf of School of Biological Sciences