Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

2019 Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski

Mangroves, Ecology

  • Francois BlascoEmail author
  • M. Aizpuru
  • J. Besnehard
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-93806-6_203


Mangroves have always been considered as marginal ecosystems for at least three main reasons. First, the global mangrove area does not exceed 180,000 km2representing less than 2% of the world’s tropical forest resources. Second, their discontinuous distribution, at the land and sea interface of tropical and subtropical coastlines, is primarily characterized by tidal regimes, which is a unique forest habitat. Third, the frequent wide fluctuations of environmental factors (dissolved oxygen, salinity, organic, and inorganic suspended matter) have induced in mangrove flora, a complex range of adaptations, lacking in other woody species, unable to compete or to survive in these highly variable and adverse environmental conditions (low oxygen content in soils, sulfate toxicity, high NaCl in water and soils, exposure to hurricanes and surges, muddy soils, instability, etc.). Yet, these ecosystems are highly productive with an average primary productivity often higher than that...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Laboratoire d’Écologie TerrestreUniversité Paul SabatierToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire d’Ecologie Terrestre (UMR 5552)Centre de TeledetectionToulouse Cedex 4France
  3. 3.TOTAL FINA ELF-DGEP/AEOParis La Defence cedexFrance