Mangroves are among the oldest and most productive forests on the planet. They grow in the tidal zone and are especially adapted to survive high salinity and oxygen-free bottoms. They are ideal habitats for many terrestrial and marine species and are also nature´s own water treatment plants.
Mangrove trees have two different kinds of roots. Heart roots to anchor themselves in the soft muddy bottom and aerial roots to breathe atmospheric oxygen above the oxygen-free bottom. The roots have the ability to shut the salty seawater out and let the fresh water which the tree needs in. The tree also turns its leaves away from the hot midday sun to protect itself from the heat. Mangrove trees will not release their fertilized seeds, like most other plants, but keeps the seed attached to the parent tree until it germinates into a finished small plant.
Mangroves are an important nursery for the oceans marine species. Mangroves teem with fish, crustaceans, reptiles and birds, all of which breed in the dense forest.