We love every kind of tree – each one is important in its own way. But we’ve planted millions of mangrove trees because they’re one of the most important types of trees in the world. Here are 10 amazing facts about mangrove trees that show exactly why planting these wonderful trees is so important.
Mangroves can live in salt water
Mangroves are generally found growing along coastlines. In order to live there, they need to be able to tolerate salt water. Mangrove trees are, in fact, the only species of tree in the world that are able to deal with salt water. For any other tree, the salt content of the ocean would be toxic.
Mangroves aren’t picky about soil
Mangrove trees are able to grow in a number of different types of soil. Many species prefer mud, but they can grow in coral rock, peat, and sand as well.
Mangroves are nature’s storm barriers
Because they put down roots along coastlines, mangroves act as a natural storm barrier. They help prevent storm surges and lock in coastlines, preventing erosion.
Mangroves may absorb more carbon pollution than any type of tree
According to one study conducted in 2016, mangrove trees are one of the best trees in the world for sequestering carbon dioxide, a climate-altering greenhouse gas. Sadly, it’s believed that 122 million tons of carbon was released due to mangrove losses around the world.
Mangroves provide important habitat
There are thousands of fish species that rely on mangroves around the world for habitat. The roots of the mangrove trees provide important shelter for tiny fish all the way up to 10-foot sharks! Many villagers who live near coastlines rely on these mangroves for fishing.
Mangroves can be made into honey
Some types of mangrov trees, in particular black and white mangroves, produce flowers from which bees can collect pollen. This pollen is then turned into honey. It turns out, mangroves are pretty sweet!
There are 35 species of mangrove tree
Around the world, there are 35 different species of mangrove tree. The four most common ones are black mangroves, buttonwood mangroves, white mangroves, and red mangroves. Depending on the species, mangroves can grow to be small shrubs or 40-foot trees!
Mangroves are protected
In the United States, there are laws in place that protect mangrove trees from being destroyed. If a developer does harm a mangrove forest in the process of building new structures, they are required by law to plant a new mangrove forest to replace it.
Mangroves are threatened by sand mining
Sand mining is the most common type of mineral mining in the world. This sand is often mined from developing countries’ coastlines and sent to the developed world for products like concrete and asphalt. Sand mining is environmentally devastating and often destroys mangroves.
Mangroves are one of the most consequential ecosystems
Mangroves create among the most important ecosystems in the world. Taken together, they help keep the climate stable, coastlines secure, provide food for fish, birds, and humans alike, create vital habitat for various species, and prevent damage from storm surges.