are plant species that grow in shallow and protected
coastal areas in tropical regions, in the tidal zones,
such as estuaries, deltas, lagoons and coastal lakes.
They grow in conditions where few other plants can
survive: high salinity, soft substrate and lack of
tree is the dominant species. It survives in these
hostile environments with the help of physiological
adaptations, such as aerial roots that give it some
are fragile ecosystems that must be protected because
they play a crucial ecological and socio-economic
protect and stabilize coastal areas
Through their root system,
mangroves prevent coastal erosion and provide an effective
barrier against the winds, waves and ocean currents.
They protect the coast and its inhabitants against
cyclones, storms and tsunamis. By stabilizing the
sediment, they also prevent silting of coral reefs,
sea grass beds and shipping lanes.
are reservoirs of food and raw materials
Mangroves provide conditions
and unique habitats which are inhabited by a large
number of animal species: mammals, reptiles, amphibians,
birds, and especially fish, crabs, shrimps and molluscs,
for which they provide favoured breeding sites. Mangroves,
although amounting to just 0.4% of the world's forests
are indeed essential to the life cycle of most commercial
fish species worldwide.
In their capacity as an extraordinary
reservoir of wildlife, mangroves provide a major source
of protein to many coastal populations, particularly
in developing countries. It supplies these people
with firewood and wood for building, even for consumption
and medicinal purposes plants are found that are essential
to their survival.