Six Fascinating Facts about Mangroves
Mangroves are incredibly unique and magnificent trees that play such a crucial role in our environment. Unfortunately, mangrove populations have been on a steady decline due to coastal development and overexploitation. But the good news is that there’s a big push around the world to protect and conserve these amazing wonders. So, let’s dive in and explore some of the fascinating facts about mangroves!
Mangroves Thrive in Salty Waters
You might be surprised to learn that mangroves live in water that’s up to 100 times saltier than what most plants can tolerate. These tough trees filter out up to 90% of the salt in seawater and can even excrete the salt that gathers on their leaves.
Mangroves are Carbon-Absorbing Superheroes
Mangrove trees are like superheroes for our planet – they help fight climate change by absorbing and storing carbon dioxide which keeps greenhouse gasses from entering the atmosphere. In fact, they’ve been recorded to absorb almost 10 times more carbon dioxide than terrestrial forests.
Mangroves are the Coastal Defense We Need
Mangrove forests are like a shield against strong winds and waves, protecting our coastlines from major storms, hurricanes, and floods. They also reduce the height of tsunamis and slow down water flows and erosion. This is thanks to their dense roots that help build and bind soils.
Mangroves Help Save Our Coral Reefs
The climate crisis is causing a lot of damage to our coral reefs, but mangroves can help mitigate coral bleaching by providing shelter for coral species and reducing ocean acidification.
Once Gone, Mangroves Cannot be Replanted
Deforestation of mangroves leads to land erosion and degradation, and the reshaped coastline makes it difficult to replant the mangroves back to their former shape and habitats. So, it’s crucial that we protect these trees and their habitats.
Indonesia is Home to the World's Largest Mangrove Ecosystem
Mangroves can be found in 118 countries, but Indonesia boasts the largest mangrove population in the world. It covers more than 23,000 square km and accounts for 23% of the world’s total mangrove population. Some of these trees are even 144 feet tall! But Indonesia’s mangrove population is being threatened by shrimp farms and palm oil plantations, so it’s up to us to help protect these magnificent trees.
It’s important that we protect and conserve these amazing trees for the benefit of all the creatures that call the mangroves home, and for the people living near these coasts. Hundreds of species are rooting for the mangroves to have a bright and thriving future!