Today, I want to talk about the mangrove trees that as a matter of fact only happen to grow at the tropics and subtropics. This is near the equator because these forests cannot withstand the freezing temperatures of the capes. Eventually, you will probably ask yourselves, ‘mangroves? What are mangroves and why is she talking about them?’ Well here’s why; mangroves are very important to the coastal ecosystem. I shall talk about their importance later. They can be recognized from their tangled prop roots which make them appear as if they are floating on top of the water. What do these trees do for us? Well, they can handle the rise and fall of tides meaning that they get flooded twice a day. The mangrove roots are the main feature as they actually clean the water by acting as filters, they allow slow and steady movement of the tidal waters, causing sediments to settle out the water building up the muddy bottom and, in a sense, ‘cleaning the water’. Instead of creating expensive water treatment plant -mangroves are very commonly selected as receiving areas of affluent. The mangroves are adapted to saline conditions, the harsh life at the harsh coast and very low oxygen. Mangroves are the world’s best carbon ‘scrubbers’ they take in more carbon from the atmosphere into long term storage in greater quantities than any of the other forests (blue carbon- carbon captured by the world’s coastal ecosystem i.e. mangroves, salt marshes, sea grass and macroalgae). Mangroves also do a wonderful job by preventing the erosion of the coastline by reducing storm surges, currents, waves and tides. Do you see this? Just imagine mangroves prevent flooding, tsunamis and they buffer us from cyclones. The mangrove root system makes these forests attractive to fish and other organisms seeking food and shelter from predators.
I have efficiently mentioned how important the mangroves are to us but, what we have done to them? More than 35% of the world’s mangroves have been destroyed. In Indonesia 70% of the mangrove forests have been lost due to human activity. Of course, the main enemy to the environment is us. Why do we do this to our very important mangroves? Well I’ll just go ahead and say it logging, and shrimp farms. Are the shrimp farms and the wood gotten from the mangroves worth risking typhoons, tsunamis, floods and more levels of carbon in the air?
The traveling mindset.