SUBSTRATE: Waterlogged, anaerobic, brackish sediment
deposited by freshwater runoff and tides, and increased by organic
matter from mangroves.
TOPOGRAPHY: Low-lying, intertidal zone, with some
extensive to irregularly flooded higher fringe areas.
VEGETATION: Three species of true mangrovesred mangrove dominates middle and lower portions
of intertidal and upper subtidal zone; black mangrove dominates
upper intertidal zone and irregularly flooded higher elevations;
white mangrove is found in patches in higher parts of intertidal
zone; buttonwood is often on upland fringe; all grow as trees or
FAUNA: Valuable habitat for wide range of invertebrates
and vertebrates, including 220 fish and 181 bird species; habitat
of endangered American crocodile and Florida manatee.
PROCESSES / DYNAMICS / ABIOTIC FACTORS: Limited by
temperature to tropics and subtropics; fluctuations of water level
necessary for proper development; salt water excludes potential
plant competitors; hurricanes may prevent mangroves from reaching
HUMAN IMPACTS: Thousands of acres have been destroyed
and replaced with filled and developed land; can be seriously damaged
by oil spills and herbicides; both sport and commercial fisheries
decline when mangroves are destroyed.
ANIMALS AND PLANTS NATIVE TO ECOSYSTEM: List of selectable
animals and plants
native to the Mangroves ecosystem, with detailed descriptions and
pictures on each.