Asia Pacific Initiative > Marine Ecosystem:Mangroves > Definition of Mangroves

Definition of Mangroves

  • “Mangroves are not a single genetic group but represent genetic adaptation of a large variety of plant families to a particular environment.”
  • Source: Field, Journey among Mangroves, 1995

  • “The word ‘mangroves’ means tropical plants and their communities which grow in the intertidal zone. The intertidal zone is the area under tidal influence along the coast line, such as seashores, estuaries, lagoons and river banks. Generally mangroves are trees and bushes growing below the high-water level of spring tides.”
  • The mangrove species are classified into 3 groups:
  • Major components,
  • Minor components, and
  • Mangrove associates
  • “There are approximately 70 species of true mangrove (major and minor components of mangroves). Forty of these species occur in South-East Asia; approximately 15 species occur in Africa; and approximately 10 species occur in the Americas.”
  • “Some mangrove species develop systems suitable for high salinity conditions, such as special secreting organs called salt glands.”

    Source: Kitamura, et al., Handbook of Mangroves in Indonesia, 1997.

Mangrove Identification

We felt the need of a practical pocket handbook for identifying the mangrove species in the field. Neither efficient field survey nor seed collection can be done without determining the mangrove species correctly.”

This handbook includes graphics and text on: Pictures Graphical habitat range indicator Aerial roots Leaves Inflorescence (flowers) Fruit

Key icons are provided to help identify the species.

Food Chains in Mangroves