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  • Category: Education

    Why mangrove forests are important to the ecosystem?


    Ever wondered why and how mangrove forests are important to the eco system? Interested in knowing the correct reasons for growing mangrove forests? Check out this page where our ISC experts have answered your queries.

    A mangrove commonly refers to two different things. A tidal swamp ecosystem found in tropical deltas, estuaries, lagoons or islands, and the characteristic tree species populating this ecosystem. Mangrove trees have developed unique adaptations to the harsh conditions of coastal environments.

    but don't know the exact clarification of why the mangrove forests are important to our ecosystem. can you give me brief information about this?
  • Answers

    4 Answers found.
  • The green bushes, plants and trees present in the tidal region between sea and land are known as mangrove and has an important role in ecosystem. They are found worldwide in many countries which have their boundaries with the open seas and oceans. These plants and bushes have adopted to the difficult and harsh environment which is present in a tidal zone and it is surprising to note that a number of plants, bushes, ferns, trees and other species manage their lives in such an environment and appear lush with the greenery and have a big network of roots below in the water as well as soil below the water.

    Though mangroves are found in many countries of the world but they are more abundant in countries like Indonesia and Myanmar. Wide and extensive mangroves are also found in south and central America and west and central Africa, northeast India and northern Australia. It is seen that mangroves are more prolific in areas where delta formation is there from the rivers bringing continuous terrestrial sediments and fresh water along it. That is the ideal environment for the mangrove propagation. Mangroves are important for the ecosystem and have a large contribution to the human habitat and ecology. Some of the highlights are as under.

    The wide and large network of the roots of the mangroves help in the stabilisation of coastal land areas and significantly stops their erosion or loss due to the tidal waves from the sea. This provides a type of fencing from the high tides and storms from the sea side especially to the villages or towns which are in the vicinity of the mangroves.

    Mangroves have a still bigger role of absorbing some of the nutrients and pollutants from the water which indirectly acts as a cleaner and reduce the sewage and other harmful constituents from the water.

    Another great advantage of mangroves is that they are a very good breeding ground for a variety of sea creatures like fishes and crabs which have a great economic value and the coastal dwellers make a living out of that. In Malaysia they are a big source of income generation. The contribution of mangrove for shallow marine life is remarkable.

    In many places big trees are present in the mangrove forests which are very valuable and provide timber which is used for making boats, houses, traps, charcoal, firewood etc. There are mangroves which can also be used as animal fodder. Some of the mangrove plants and bushes have medicinal characteristics also.

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  • A group of trees and shrubs that live in the coastal intertidal zone are known as mangroves. They are very important for the ecosystem. These are the only plants and trees which can survive in very difficult conditions and also under saltwater. Mangroves are very important for the ecosystem. They will have a big role to play in the human habitat and ecology. The points are given below.

    1. Mangroves prevent and reduce erosion by stabilizing sediments with their root systems. They see that shorelines will never get damaged because of storms and hurricane winds, waves, and floods. Pollutants and sediments will be filtered off and see that the water will be pure.

    2. Mangroves will be nursery areas for fish and other seafood. Seafood suffers a decline if they have no access to mangrove habitats.

    3. These mangroves protect many threatened and endangered species. Some of these threatened species reside their entire life spans within the mangroves.

    4. Many people will be using mangroves as a renewable resource. In these areas used for cultivating durable, water-resistant wood. mangroves will be used in building houses.

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  • Mangroves are trees or plants grow in the tidal area in tropics and subtropics like deltas, debouchures, lagoons or islands. They help to keep coastal zones healthy by preventing erosion of land, stabilize shorelines from waves and storms, trap sediment and pollutants from the sea and provide habitat to thousands of species.

    Q: Why the mangrove forests are important to our ecosystem?
    A: Let me explain in points the importance of mangrove forests to our ecosystem:
    i) Maintaining water quality - The mangrove forests through their dense network of roots and surrounding vegetation help to filter and trap sediments, heavy metals, and other pollutants that float and contaminate the waterways thus providing clean and filtered water in the downstream.

    ii) Store excess carbon - We know that carbon dioxide is taken by plants during photosynthesis and oxygen is released in the process. This CO2 is stored by plants in leaves, branches and roots by trees and plants and even dried leaves covered in soil when covered in tidal waves release CO2 slowly which results in carbon storage to a significant quantity thus helping to fight climate change.

    iii) Add biological diversity - Mangroves are breeding grounds for fish, crab, shrimp, turtle, shellfish, crocodile and many amphibia as well as numerous species of fish. They are also the nesting place for migratory birds and other endangered species.

    iv) Source of Livelihood for many - Many local communities like fishermen and farmers uses mangroves to catch fishes, shells, crabs and farmers depend on the natural environment to farm and provide for their families. Nearly 60% - 80% of the global fish catch depends on mangrove forests.

    v) Natural protection to land - Mangroves stabilize heavy waves at the shorelines, slow down the land erosion from the storm, floods, hurricanes from the frequent weather and climate change.

    vi) Materials for human use - The mangroves provide a direct product like wood for construction and burning and other produce like fruit, honey, vinegar, salt, or cooking oil. The other part of trees can be used to manufacture synthetic fibers, corks and floats, cosmetics, dyes, soap alternatives, etc. It is also breeding ground for a wide range of fish larvae and other species when grown can be used by humans as food or other purposes.

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  • Mangroves are the most important part of the echo system though its value is least noticeable initially. It is a type of echo tone signifying an intermediate part of land form which lies between two dominant land forms. These are the wet lands lying between land and sea. Whenever, there is an intermediate land form, diversity of spices will be amazingly high. These spices in such land form will be unique to the ecosystem.
    The mangroves will support the vast range of spices from microorganism to the Royal Bengal Tiger. It may be categorised as a special type of echo system containing loosely packed sediments having constant influence of tides and have high salinity as compared to the river - water.
    Take the example of corals. These are very sensitive organisms and can live only in clean salt water having the moderate temperature. When a river mixes with a sea at its mouth, it would deposit tonnes of sediments into the sea but these corals cannot survive in the turbid muddy water.
    The role of the mangroves is to filter the river - water and take up all sediments leaving only water to mix with the sea. Whenever a river crosses the mangroves, the mangroves reduce the freshness of of the river water making it salty. Thus there were not the sudden formation of mixture of fresh water into the sea. Thus in this process coral has played a role of rescuing part.
    Mangroves act as breeding ground for the sea fishes. Small fishes need to be protected from the bigger ones. The sea - fishes approach the places and lay eggs between the mangroves and leaves. During the process, the organic matters are consumed by small worms and again worms are consumed by the fish hatchlings.
    Thus it serves as the basic unit in maintaining the fish - population in the sea. Mangroves can act as reservoirs containing more carbon than terrestrial plants.


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