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Bentley, A - red mangrove

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 5 months ago

Part 1

Red Mangrove

Rhizophora mangle''

''

Why I chose this plant?

I chose this plant because it is a very important part of the marine environment the tropics and coral reef. I hope to one day work on the conservation of the reefs which are one of the most diverse and fastly disappearing environments in the world.

Habitat

The Mangroves are found on coasts and in Mangrove swamps. The ecosystems that R. Mangles are a very important part of are called Mangals. R. Mangle protect both the beach from strong waves and erosion, and many organisms. They serve as not only a home for many birds, crocodile, fish and crustaceans; but also as a nursery for their young grow in. The mangroves prop roots that are embedded into the surrounding soil, or sand, serve as the protection, preventing larger organisms from entering.

Reproduction and Dispersal

R. Mangle has a flower that comes every spring as pictured at right. This species of mangrove is able to self-germinate and be wind pollinated. Which ever way the plant is pollinated, the flower then forms the fruit of the plant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

R. Mangle produces fruits in the summer. Pictured at right is the fruit, also known as a “drop root”, contains a whole new mangrove plant that is being formed inside. Once the “drop root” falls off it can go up to a year without rooting into soil. The drop root is the new, immature mangrove plant. Since the drop root is developed during the R. Mangles growing season, the plant is said to have no dormancy period.

C. Feller, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

C. Feller, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

Interesting Facts

This plant has a wide variation in its tolerances. All mangroves have a high tolerance to salt, but the Red mangrove exclude excess salt intake at the root level, unlike the other plants in this genus that excrete the salt in pores or leaves. Mangroves are found to tolerate a range of temperature from 20-28°C, and are found between 28° north and south of the equator, but are found in highest concentrations in the tropical regions. There is also research being done that shows mangroves seasonal change has to do with hurricane season, but nothing has been proven. There is proof that beaches that have a high concentration of mangroves during a hurricane tend to have less damage, which shows humans could benefit more from them than once thought. Mangroves were once thought to be useless and used as dumps. Mangroves are also found to be invasive or weedy according to the USDA.

 

World dispersal of Red Mangroves:

The red Mangrove can be found in tropic or oceanic environments between 28 degrees north and south of the equator on different continents.


 

Part 2

 

Rhizophora Mangle this, plant serves as a very important part in the marine environment, and as a protector of many ocean front communities. The roots of the Red Mangroves, as well as many other mangrove species, extend far into the sandy soils that would easily be taken away by waves and storms. Not only do the Mangrove’s serve to protect the coast, but they serve as a very important part in their ecosystem. R. mangal has adapted to the very harsh and salty conditions in many ways. The way that the plant gets oxygen to its roots its by breathing through their prop roots which extend out of the water into the air. These prop roots are covered in lenticles, or passageways which allow diffusion of oxygen to the plants lower root system. These ecosystems in which mangroves are found are know as the Mangals. The Mangals are home to many different kinds of animals such as birds, crocodiles, fish and crustaceans and their offspring. The prop roots are used as a nursery to many species of coral reefs, or surrounding organisms. The drop roots are the fruit of the organism. R. Mangle has a flower that comes every spring. This species of mangrove is able to self-germinate and be wind pollinated. R. Mangle produces fruits in the summer. The fruit, also known as a “drop root” contains a whole new mangrove plant that is being formed inside. Once the “drop root”, also know as a propagules, falls off it can go up to a year without rooting into soil. The drop root is the new, immature mangrove plant. Since the drop root is developed during the R. Mangles growing season, the plant is said to have no dormancy period. The red mangrove is thus said to be self-pollinating (NHMI.org 2008). R. Mangle can also be wind pollinated in the spring when it flowers.

This plant has a wide variation in its tolerances. All mangroves have a high tolerance to salt, but the Red mangrove excludes excess salt intake at the root level, unlike the other plants in this genus that excrete the salt in pores or leaves. The Red mangrove grows in soils that contain and average of 60-65ppt, where most mangroves range from 0-90ppt (NHMI.org 2008). This is beneficial to the manngrove community because it lowers competition, since such high salinaty would make life impossible for most plants. The red mangrove gets rid of excess salt in its fruit and leaves, which then fall off of the plant. Mangroves are found to tolerate a range of temperature from 20-28°C. R. Mangle is found on coasts and Mangals between 28° north and south of the equator. Wave action in the mangrove habitat is very important for its survival. The waves take away the toxins and wastes that the plants and animals in the environment produce. The waves are also important in the process of mangrove production. Once the "drop root" is released, the waves take it away from the parent plant and transport it to another location. This can be beneficial to the plant if there is another plant or animal that is harming the parent plant, because a new mongrove plant can grow somewhere else. The tides that encounter mangroves are especially important to tropical environments because when the tide comes in, the mangroves filter out nutrients and silt that would be carried to nearby reef and smother the local organisms (NHMI.org 2008). Mangals used to be though of as wasteland and dump areas, which caused these areas to be destroyed. Most recently the cutting down of mangrove forests is becoming more common because of the location that mongroves grow. They are found on relatively flat ground that is close to the water, which is where people like to build. This is not only bad for the marine enviornment, but also causes irrosion of many beaches. The mangrove is also good for protection in hurricans and tsunamis because of their roots which extend far into the soil, these act as a buffer against waves. Most people to not understand how truely important these mangrove ecosystems are, and how easily they can be destroyed by chopping them down. The mangroves are the part of the marine environment which in turn supplies the world with many resources. If we damage these ecosystems enough they will be to a point of no return.

 

 

Bibliography:

“The Ecology of Plants”. Gurevitch, Scheiner, Fox. Sinauer Associates, Inc. 2006, Sunderland MA. (pg 497)

“Know your mangrove 2.”Queensland Government. 2 August 2006. The State of Queensland. 13 February 2008 <http://www2.dpi.qld.gov.au/fishweb/2635.html>

“Rhizophora Mangle.” Smithsonian Marine station at Fort Pierce. 25 July 2001. 16 February 2008. http://www.sms.si.edu/irLspec/Rhizop_mangle.htm#vivipary

“Mesoamerican Reef.” Expeditions in Conservation. 16 February 2008. http://worldwildlife.org/expeditions/reef/species/index.html

 

"Local Species Indentification." 17 February 2008. <http://www.nhmi.org/mangroves/rep.htm>

"Tour of Mangrove Swamp." Marietta College Biology Department Field Trip to Costa Rica. 8 January 2008. 2 March 2008.<http://www.marietta.edu/~biol/biomes/mangroves.htm>

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