Botany of Mangroves

  • Stuart E. Hamilton
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 33)


Despite such harsh environmental conditions, mangroves have colonized the nearshore environment of much of the global tropical coastline. In doing so, mangrove forests have converted what is otherwise often barren coastlines into one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet. Measured regarding human livelihoods, carbon processing, fisheries support, erosion control, or biodiversity; mangrove forests are one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet, yet they mangrove forests are historically one of the most underappreciated and misunderstood land cover types. This chapter examines the botany of mangroves. Section 1.1 describes the biology of mangroves with a focus on those present in Ecuador. Section 1.2 examines the dominant Ecuadorian mangrove that is Rhizophora mangle which is currently undergoing a taxonomic reclassification to Rhizophora samoensis. Section 1.3 delineates the global and Ecuadorian distribution of mangrove species. Section 1.4 examines current and past estimates of mangrove forest area for both global mangrove forests and Ecuadorian mangrove forests. Section 1.5 examines the role of mangrove forests in supporting the wider ecosystem that they inhabit. Section 1.6 focusses upon the role of mangrove forests in supporting wild fish fisheries and Sect 1.7 on the manner in which mangrove forests provided important livelihood options and other goods and services to the people that reside nearby. Section 1.8 elucidates on the role of mangrove forests in mitigating global climate change and recent advances in this critical arena.


Mangrove forests Mangroves Rhizophora mangle Rhizophora samoensis Blue carbon Mangrove economy Mangrove forest cover Mangrove anomaly 

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart E. Hamilton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geography and GeoscienceSalisbury UniversitySalisburyUSA

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