Mangroves and its unique importance

Today being Earth Day, I thought it would fitting to discuss an area of the environment that’s frequently ignored.

Mangroves are a very important and critical part of the coastal areas and since they are highly populated and production ecosystems that provides a number of goods and services to the marine environment and people. Hence the slightest ecological imbalance will take a heavy toll on the environment. Mangroves play a vital role in stabilizing, the area by transferring organic matter and energy from the land to the marine ecosystem.

Mangroves 

Source: http://www.asknature.org/strategy/f580efcadd6c8c19dadf3811bdd6222d 

Now it is worth noting that the mangroves truly acts as protective barrier for the shorelines and sea, and that should be enough to convince us that they are worth preserving, unfortunately it is not enough.

The goods and services provided by mangroves are estimated at  US$186 million these includes:

  • Fisheries – Mangroves are home to a large variety of fish, crap and shrimp species.  These fisheries provide an essential source of food for thousands of coastal communities across the world, making mangroves vitally important to coral reefs and commercial fisheries. But more than that the young fish would usually stay in the mangrove where they would be fed and sheltered from predators.
  • Timber and plant products – Mangrove wood is very resistant to rot and insects making it extremely valuable, again many coastal and indigenous communities use this wood for construction and as fuel. These coastal communities also collect plants for medicinal purposes using the leaves as animal fodder.
  • Coastal protection – One of the most important benefits of mangroves roots is that they are so deep they trap sediments flowing down river and off the land. This helps to stabilize the coastline and prevents erosion from waves and storms, also protecting coral reefs and sea grass meadows from being smothered in sediment.

The shoreline around the world are facing a number of serious challenges of coastal erosion and threat of rising sea levels have increased the threat exceptionally to reduce global warming. Also to assist in the control of the potential destruction of the sea on land mother nature have provided us with Mangroves, a tropical marine ecosystem which is more dynamic than the sea itself.

image

<strong>Mangrove in the sea but close enough to protect the shore

Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5e/Mangrove_auf_Cayo_Levisa,_Kuba.jpg

Now when I say specialized tropical marine ecosystem it means the group of plants growing in muddy, loose wet soil in tropical and sub-tropical areas, and although they are highly productive they are also extremely sensitive and fragile and worth saving. Think about this famous saying on this special day “Earth Day” you would never miss the water till the well runs dry. Have a wonderful day.

Polluted mangrove in Jakarta

Source: http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/photos-jakarta-the-sinking-megacity

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