Physiological adaptations in mangrove vegetation

Rimac, Anja (2009) Physiological adaptations in mangrove vegetation. Bachelor's thesis, Faculty of Science > Department of Biology.

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Mangrove forests consist of diverse, salt-tolerant tree and other plant species, ranging from small shrubs to tall trees. The term mangrove does not refer to a specific taxonomic group of species, but all are adapted to living in wet soil, saline habitat, and periodic tidal submergence. These forests are found between 30 degrees north and 30 degrees south of the equator, in sheltered, inter-tidal areas that receive a high annual rainfall. The most extensive area of mangroves is found in Asia, followed by Africa and South America. The total mangrove area is around 150 000 km2. Four countries (Indonesia, Brazil, Nigeria, and Australia) account for about 41% percent of all mangroves. Although a wide variety of plant species are found in mangrove forests, only some 54 species belonging to 16 families are recognized as "true mangroves" - species which are rarely found outside mangrove habitats. Plants in mangals are diverse but all are able to exploit their habitat (the intertidal zone) by developing physiological adaptations to overcome the problems of anoxsia, high salinity and frequent tidal inundation. Each species has its own solutions to these problems, this may be the primary reason why, on some shorelines, mangrove tree species show distinct zonation. Mangrove forests are highly productive, ecologically important systems. Mangroves protect shorelines from damaging storm and hurricane winds, waves, and floodding. Mangroves also help prevent erosion by stabilizing sediments with their tangled root systems, and they maintain water quality and clarity. Mangrove forests are one of the world’s most threatened tropical ecosystems. More than 35% of the world’s mangroves are already gone. The figure is as high as 50% in countries such as India, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Due to the increasing pressure from rapidly expanding development along the coasts, it is critical that mangrove habitats are protected from further destruction.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's thesis)
Supervisor: Pevalek-Kozlina, Branka
Date: 2009
Number of Pages: 17
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Biology
Depositing User: Silvana Šehić
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2014 12:54
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2014 12:54

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