- Fionna Braganza
Why are mangroves important?
Updated: Jul 9, 2021
Superhero eco-systems that are the first line of defence against natural disasters.
Mangroves are the superheroes of all ecosystems - with plants capable of surviving in the harshest of conditions. Mangrove plants can survive in saline conditions due to their specialised filtration system that can filter out excess salt from the water. They have upward growing roots that allow them to absorb oxygen from the air, instead of the muddy soil that they grow in.
But if these superpowers help them survive, they also have qualities that help others thrive! Here’s how:
Mangroves are the first line of defence against cyclones and tsunamis, protecting the coastline and minimising damage to land and people
Their extensive root systems act as shock absorbers, weakening the impact of the sea on the land, reducing high tides and helping prevent soil erosion. This also protects islands from rise in sea levels!
Mangroves have also been found to store or sequester more carbon dioxide than most other forests, making them natural carbon sinks - essential in the fight against climate change!
Mangroves act as the ocean’s nursery, serving as breeding and feeding grounds for fish and crustaceans before they are ready to make their way to the sea
Mangroves help in nutrient cycling – the leaves and branches that fall into the water are broken down and replenish the water with nutrients
Mangroves also filter out heavy metals from the mud and deposit them as rich sediments in the soil around, making these areas very fertile
Coastal birds make their nests in mangroves and also feed on the vegetation and insects there.
Mangroves are an immense source of livelihood to coastal communities who fish, gather wood, charcoal and honey, and source tannin, alcohol and medicine from here.
Mangroves are important in the fight against climate change, hunger and poverty. Sustainable Green Initiative has been involved in mangrove planting since 2018, with over a million trees planted so far.
To see how YOU can help increase the number of mangrove trees in India, visit our website!