Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mangrove Adaptations

Mangroves have many adaptations to survive in their harsh and unstable environment.

Red mangroves have adaptations including:
  • Prop roots which help anchor them in loose mud and protect them from strong winds, waves, and tides.

  • Thick waxy green leaves that lose little precious fresh water to evaporation

  • Special provisions to transport oxygen from the aerial roots to the roots  submerged and embedded in the anaerobic muck below.
  • The seeds begin to grow roots while attached to the tree. 
  • Salt pores on the leaves to get rid of excess salt.

Black mangroves have adaptations that include:
  • Pneumatophers which are shallow roots that grow horizontally and send up vertical shoots that brings oxygen to the rest of the root.
  • Cuticle coating the leaves to help store water.

  • Black mangrove roots can filter 90 percent of the salt from sea water but the leaves take care of the rest.

  • Black mangroves have chloroplasts and chlorophyll like other producers to produce its own food. 

  • Vivipary and dispersal are reproductive adaptations that give mangroves an increased chance for survival.
- Victoria Mehlhaff - 

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