What Do You Really Know About Mangroves?
Are you like most people not living in a coastal area? You are asked whether you know what mangroves are and chances are you will say “I think it is plant.”
Indeed, they are plants but there is much too little common knowledge about these vital guards of marine ecosystems.
Mangroves Protect Coastlines
Worldwide, there are about 80 different species of mangrove trees. Mangroves prefer soil with low oxygen and slow-moving waters. Fine sediment accumulations help them form prop roots that give them their unique stilt-like appearance. These roots slow the incoming rise and fall of tides and increase sediment layers.
The growth of mangroves is essential in protecting and stabilizing coastlines. It is mainly them that counter erosion caused by tides, waves and storms. The dense tangle of roots offers fish and other species native to coastlines protection from predators and shelter.
Their Habitat Is Changing
Mangroves have traditionally only grown in warm temperatures, such as in tropical and subtropical areas. However, recent observations show that they have been spreading to regions further north. This development is likely a result of climate change as temperatures In northern latitudes are slowly increasing.
On the one hand, the spread of these plants into new ground is welcome. Recent studies indicated that one hectare of mangroves can bury up to four times more carbon emissions than one hectare of actual rainforest. Thus, their proliferation is desireable. More than one third of the mangrove forests worldwide have been destroyed by invasive animal species and coastal development. The Environment Program of the United Nations reports that their deforestation is at a rate five times that of other forests.
On the other hand, the expansion of mangroves as a result of climate change is also cause for alarm. Their expansion is a threat to salt marsh ecosystems that are equally vital for healthy coastlines.
Mangroves Are “Nurseries”
Also, these amazing plants are more than just the shrubs they may appear. Along with seagrasses, they provide invaluable habitats for young populations of many types of species. Such animals include lobster and ecologically important fish such as sharks. Their unique underwater structure serves as a one-of-a-kind maze which is an incredibly productive ecosystem.
Mangroves Ensure Clean Water
Besides their function as stabilizers, nurseries and carbon warriors, mangroves are also vital in filtering pollutantsfrom river water. Not all mangroves store equal amounts of carbon depending on where they grow. But they trap toxic heavy metals and other contaminants, thus ensuring water quality.
Mangroves Are Vital
Efforts around the world are under way to protect and conserve mangrove forests. One of them is in the Térraba Sierpe wetlands in Costa Rica. Many other regions of the world are following suit.
Please donate to PURELAND Zero
PURELAND is a nature conservation project by the Pureland Foundation based on blockchain technology. The PURELAND Zero project has the objective to preserve the existing primeval forest covering an area of 841.7 hectares in the Térraba Sierpe National Wetlands. This unique ecosystem is located in Puntarenas province in Costa Rica and is home to seven different species of mangroves.
Each contribution to the PURELAND project to protect rainforest land from deforestation will be utilized for financing further environmental projects. All PURELAND projects aim to conserve pristine wildlife and nature. You too can help to save the mangroves of Costa Rica!