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Image credit: Basic Concepts in Environment, Agriculture and Natural Resources Management: An Information Kit (International Institute for Rural Reconstruction (IIRR)). 


Mangroves are salt tolerant trees. They connect land to sea between latitudes 25°N and 30°S, encompassing estuarine, arboreal and marine environments. Mangroves represent important nesting and roosting grounds for wading birds and nurseries for juvenile fish. Caribbean mangroves host a particularly rich invertebrate fauna. Mangroves supply organic matter for estuary systems, sequestrate carbon dioxide and provide vital coastline protection from storm events. Their abundant and complex rooting system regulates wave impact, attenuating the effect of severe storms by dissipating the strength of the waves.

To cope with waterlogged soils and high saline conditions, mangroves have developed several mechanisms. For instance red mangroves which are dominant in Jamaica, process salt through their underground routing system, whereas white mangroves excrete salt through pores on their leaves. Four species of mangrove occur in the Caribbean: the red mangrove, the white mangrove, the black mangrove and the buttonwood mangrove.  

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