Mangrove forests are unique ecosystems that grow in the inter-tidal zones of sheltered coastlines in the tropics. They consist of a range of different tree species, specialised plants and a rich variety of wildlife that is adapted to the challenging environment created by twice daily inundation from the tides and the high salt content of the water.
The trees have some remarkable features and unique adaptations that enable them to cope with these difficult growing conditions, and in turn they help to stabilise shifting sands and mud. Mangrove forests are vital as nursery grounds for a wide range of fish species and other marine life, and they support a large variety of mammals, birds and reptiles.
This presentation details all the features of these tidal forests, with examples from every region of the tropics. It includes high quality photographs that reveal all aspects of the mangroves, from their salt-excreting leaves to their flowers, seeds and propagules, some of which start growing whilst still attached to their parent tree. It also shows much of the wildlife that is associated with mangroves, including fiddler crabs, proboscis monkeys, crocodiles and mangrove snakes.
In many parts of the tropics large areas of mangroves have been cleared, leaving coastlines more vulnerable to storms and tsunamis, as was clearly demonstrated by the tsunami that affected Thailand in 2004. With mangrove destruction continuing unabated in many areas, the presentation also focuses on the need for mangrove restoration, and highlights areas where that is already taking place.
If you would like me to give this talk to a group or at an event, please contact me.