Saenger, Peter Centre for Coastal Management, University of New England, Northern Rivers, Lismore, Australia.
- Distribution and types
- Additional Readings
A taxonomically diverse assemblage of trees and shrubs that form the dominant plant communities in tidal, saline wetlands along sheltered tropical and subtropical coasts. The development and composition of mangrove communities depend largely on temperature, soil type and salinity, duration and frequency of inundation, accretion of silt, tidal and wave energy, and such fortuitous factors as cyclone or flood frequencies. Extensive mangrove communities seem to correlate with areas in which the water temperature of the warmest month exceeds 75°F (24°C), and these communities are absent from waters that never exceed 75°F (24°C) during the year. Intertidal, sheltered, low-energy, muddy sediments are the most suitable habitats for mangrove communities. Under optimal conditions, forests up to 148 ft (45 m) in height can develop, such as those in Ecuador, Thailand, and Malaysia. Where less favorable conditions are found, mangrove communities may reach maturity at heights of only 3 ft (1 m). See also: Biogeography; Ecosystem; Wetlands
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