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Term Mangrove
Definition

A forest ecosystem composed of tropical trees which are typical of littoral coasts, as they possess morphological adaptations ideal for growing in saline and flooded environments with little oxygen in the soil and poor seed germination conditions. They are subject to periodic tidal activity and are dominated by one or more arboreal mangrove species.

Mangroves fulfill an important function in coastal protection against wind and wave erosion. They boast high productivity and harbor a great amount of aquatic, amphibious, and terrestrial organisms. They also play a fundamental role in fisheries that are active in littoral coasts or in the continental shelf, as they are the habitat for hundreds of species of fish, mollusks and crustaceans during their juvenile stages. They also serve as a temporary habitat for many migratory species of Northern and Southern birds. Due to the characteristics of their wood (long, heavy, long fibers, resistant to humidity and tannin content), they are important to the forest industry.

There are approximately 55 mangrove tree species in the world, of which only four are found in the Dominican Republic: the red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), the white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa), the black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) and button mangrove (Conocarpus erectus). In the Dominican Republic, there are 20 areas that are home to mangrove ecosystems, covering an area of at least 293 square kilometers.1 The areas where the majority of mangroves in the Dominican Republic are found include Manzanillo Bay, Los Haitises National Park, and the mouths of the Soco and Higuamo rivers.

1Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales. Cuarto Informe Nacional de Biodiversidad: República Dominicana; Convenio de Diversidad Biológica (CDB): Santo Domingo, 2010, p. 1&55.

 

 
 

Additional Information
PhotoMangrove
Topic  BiodiversityResources coastal / marine