Article

Mangrove Zone Ecology

Roy R. Lewis III and Laura L. Flynn

in Ecology

ISBN: 9780199830060
Published online February 2014 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199830060-0066
Mangrove Zone Ecology

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  • Applied Ecology (Environmental Science)
  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Plant Ecology
  • Zoology and Animal Sciences

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The mangrove zone consists of the intertidal coastal area lying between the spring high tide line and the spring low tide line in protected coastal waters encompassing a wide range of plant and animal communities. These communities are capable of tolerating extremes in inundation, drying, salinity, exposure, and storm damage and occur generally in the tropical and subtropical zones between latitudes 32° N and 38° S, gradually grading into salt marshes at both of these extremes as more frequent freezing events occur. Only recently, in the late 20th century, have the ecological communities within the mangrove zone been acknowledged by scientists to have important ecological characteristics and by coastal zone managers to have important economic and social values to humans. Prior to about 1970, they were generally treated as coastal swamps of little value to ecological processes or human society. With more enlightened attitudes and careful scientific studies it has been found that the mangrove zone contains a great variety of both plants and animals of direct human benefit as medicines, food, and building materials and also provides protection from storms, water pollution abatement, and a critically important function in the global carbon cycle.

Article.  5667 words. 

Subjects: Applied Ecology (Environmental Science) ; Ecology and Conservation ; Plant Ecology ; Zoology and Animal Sciences

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