Let us talk about what a mangrove forest means. Mangrove is shrubs or small trees that grow in brackish or saline water and is typical of coastal region. These trees are tolerant of salt water and can adapt to the harsh atmosphere of coastal areas. If you think about it, you will realize that each type of forest has its own characteristics. You may learn a bit more about this by looking countries where deciduous forests are found and more about them. Mangrove trees have a complex filtration system inbuilt to filter out salt and the whole plant copes with salt filtration and waves that come about in the coastal area. They adapt to the low oxygen conditions of the mud that is waterlogged. The occurrence of mangroves happens in areas where the rich organic content of the marine bodies is deposited and there is protection from waves with high-energy.
While we are not really sure about the most majestic trees in the world being found in mangroves, you have to know that the organisms and plantation here are exposed to heat during low tide and are cooled down when the tide is high. For a plant to thrive in this environment, the plantation here have to survive the changes in the temperature and also the varying levels of salinity the tides bring in.
Here are 10 countries where mangrove forests are found:
Countries in Africa: The main mangrove forests in this continent belong to countries like Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, and RDC. On the coastal areas of these countries you can see the mangroves in existence. The largest mangrove in Nigeria has been affected adversely due to spillage of oils and leaks with damage to the local fishing community and the quality of water.
The Americas: You can come across mangroves in numerous parts of the sub-tropical and tropical areas of South and North America. Due to the low tolerance of mangroves to temperatures that fall below freezing, you can see mangroves in the Florida area and some isolated growth of black mangrove in the areas like Louisiana and Texas.
Mexico: You can see four types of mangrove in this area with more than half of them located in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Caribbean and Central America: You can come across mangroves in the coasts along the Caribbean and Pacific coastal areas. This includes areas like Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Panama. You can also come across mangroves in Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Cuba.
Brazil in South America: Brazil has almost 15% of the world’s mangrove growth. You would also come across mangroves in Peru (with a small region), the northern Caribbean island in Venezuela and Columbia.
Asian Mangroves: The great Sundarbans which is the largest mangrove region in the world is UNESCO world heritage site. The Sundari trees that are known for their hard and durable timber can be found in the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta. These forests are also the natural habitats of crocodiles, gharials, turtles, and snakes. Part of this area is also a natural reserve for tigers. There are other areas in India where you can some mangrove forests.
Indonesia also has mangroves in areas like Borneo, Sumatra, Maluku and other surrounding areas. As you move further north, you can find mangroves along the Malay Peninsula coast.
Pakistan: You can see mangroves here along the delta of the Indus river. You can come across mangroves along the coasts of Baluchistan and Sindh. The mangroves in the Karachi area have been adversely affected by land reclamation.
Middle East: Near Muscat, Oman has big areas of mangrove and also in Bahrain. The mangrove stretched over many hectares of land along the UAE coastline is in the northern side of Sea of Oman and Persian Gulf.
Australia: On the northern and eastern coastal areas of the continent, you can see mangroves with high biodiversity.
We are sure that a further study of these countries where mangroves can be found will take more than one lifetime for anybody who wants to understand them in depth. Correct and detailed information is available for only about half the mangroves in the world. The data shows that about one thirds of the mangroves in the world have been destroyed due to many factors. In today’s world, many environmentalists are making efforts to conserve the unique and complex world of mangroves.
Mangroves are also known as halophytes and they adapt to the conditions on the coastal land that is harsh.The plants here have the capacity of adapting to the anoxic or low oxygen conditions that occur due to the mud being waterlogged. Mangroves not only house a complex environment in which many unique plants and animals thrive, they are also known to buffer storms, cyclones, and tsunamis. In some areas, mangrove reforestation projects have also been taken up.