Mangroves are halophytic shrubs and trees that grow in the upper part of the intertidal zone on the shores of estuaries and lagoons, and on coasts sheltered from strong wave action, as in inlets or embayments or in the lee of headlands, islands, or reefs. Mangroves can influence coastal geomorphology by trapping sediment to form depositional intertidal terraces that prograde the coastline.
Mangroves show their greatest extent and diversity on tropical coasts, where they occupy a similar niche to temperate salt marshes (Saenger 2002). They grow sparsely on rocky shores and coral reefs, where their roots penetrate fractures in the rock, and on sandy substrates, but are more luxuriant, forming dense scrub and woodland communities, on muddy substrates and shoals exposed at low tide, particularly where there is a supply of muddy sediment. Where wave energy is low, they spread forward to the mid-tide line, but as wave action increases along a coastline, the...
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