Mangroves

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Dip your head below the water's surface in a mangrove forest and an entirely new ecosystem is revealed. The twisting mangrove roots, some of which don’t make it to the seafloor, support a great...
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This week at the Smithsonian Ocean Portal we embark on an experiment we're...
What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is captured...
Photographer Brian Skerry hikes through a mangrove in Bimini (The Bahamas) to...

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At Carrie Bow Cay in Belize , Dr. Candy Feller explains her research on the effect of excess nutrients on mangrove swamps. Feller runs the Animal-Plant Interaction Lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. See a photo...
The lettuce sea slug ( Elysia crispata ) has enlarged fleshy appendages that...
West Indian Manatees, Trichechus manatus , are found in warm, shallow...

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Mangroves are survivors. With their roots submerged in water, mangrove trees thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that...
Both humans and sea lions get sick from eating fish and shellfish that have been feeding on harmful toxic algae. Studying the sick sea lions brings scientists closer to understanding and preventing...
This creek lined with mangroves is located near the Smithsonian Institution’s field station in Bocas del Toro , Panama. The tangled roots support an amazing array of life. Learn m ore about mangroves...
Flattened against a leaf, a tree frog blends right in with the mangroves. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured story.
Mangroves canopies support an amazing array of life—including this mangrove yellow warbler ( Dendroica petechia bryanti ), the most common songbird in the mangroves of the Caribbean’s Mangal Cay...
In Fort Pierce, Florida, researchers at the Smithsonian Marine Station focus on mangroves and other marine ecosystems of Florida. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured story .
This view of mangrove roots above the water misses a lot of the action. The roots extend far below the water’s surface, anchoring the forest to the sea and providing a tangled habitat for a variety...
In coastal towns and cities, vast areas now inhabited by super markets, houses, roads, parking lots, hotels and schools were once occupied by mangrove forests . Growing out of the ocean and onto the...
The invasive reed Phragmites australis can create new plants through seeds (shown here) or underground rhizomes. Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center have discovered that seeds...
On April 27, 1986, an estimated 50,000 barrels of medium-weight crude oil drained from a ruptured storage tank at a refinery in Panama, polluting the coast and the Smithsonian Tropical Research...
From the water, red mangroves appear to form an impenetrable tangle of roots, trunks, and leaves—a protective barrier against storms and tsunamis. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves...
Mangroves thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that would kill most plants. But even these tough trees are threatened by human development. This lone mangrove shoot in South Bimini, Bahamas stands...
Mangrove roots provide support for filter-feeders like sponges, mussels, oysters, and barnacles. These play an important role in keeping the water clear. More about mangroves can be found in our...
Happy International Mangrove Action Day! This occasion is a small but vibrant tradition that has been observed annually on July 26th for nearly a decade in countries around the globe, including the U...
Two years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, brown pelicans roost on a mangrove island at the spill's "ground zero," said James Morris of the University of South Carolina. "The impact to this...
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, opening up a well that pumped nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the ocean. It was the largest spill in U.S. history. In this presentation...
This mangrove island in the Pelican Cays, Belize, was clear-cut and filled with dredged sand and coral from the adjacent reef flat. Developers are clearing and dredging mangroves in an attempt to...
This slug caterpillar ( Acharia horrida ), which will eventually metamorphosize into a very plain brown moth, has stinging spines that are very nasty to rub up against. Although the slug caterpillar...
This is a close-up view of the peat soil surface in an intact mangrove forest. Mangrove roots help to build the peat underlying mangrove islands Over thousands of years, the organic deposits grow to...
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