MANGROVE SWAMP

Are

mostly found in the tropical and subtropical regions where freshwater meets salt water. Have muddy soil and are a hostile environment for normal plants. This is because the soil has very low levels of oxygen and a high concentration of salt.

Exposed

to high intensities of sunlight and strong winds. Well adapted to the harsh

Problems and adaptations faced by the mangrove

Soft muddy soil and strong coastal winds pose support problems.  To support themselves such as the Avicennia sp. which have long, highly branched underground cable roots.  Another species is the Rhizophora sp., have prop roots or also known as aerial roots. It anchor the plants onto the muddy soil. 2. Waterlogged conditions of the soil reduce the amount of oxygen available and lead to an anaerobic environment
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The Avicennia sp. has breathing roots called pneumatophores which grow vertically upwards. Each pneumatophore has numerous pores through which gaseous exchange takes place during low tides. Gaseous exchange also occurs through pores called lenticels found on the bark of the mangrove trees. Direst exposure to the sun leads to a high rate of transpiration in the mangrove plants The leaves of the mangrove are covered by a thick layer of cuticle which reduces transpiration during hot days. In addition,

The high salinity of the sea water makes the surrounding water in the soil hypertonic when compared to the cell sap of the root cells.  The cell sap in the root cells of the mangrove trees has a higher osmotic pressure than the soil water that surrounds them. This ensures that the roots do not lose water by osmosis. Instead, the excess salt in the hypertonic solution of the soil enter the roots and is then excreted as crystalline salt from the hydathodes, the pores one
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Seeds which fall onto the ground die because they are submerged in the soft and waterlogged soil  Mangrove seeds are able to germinate while still attached to the mother plant. This phenomenon is viviparity.  Viviparity increases the chances of survival of the mangrove as the seedlings can float horizontally on the water and subsequently get washed up on the sand or mudflats where they settle to establish a new population.
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Colonisation and succession in a mangrove swamp. The pioneer species of a mangrove swamp are the Sonneratia sp. and Avicennia sp. the presence of these species gradually changes the physical environment of the habitat. The extensive root systems of these plants trap and collect sediments, including organic matter from decaying plant parts.

As time passes, the soil becomes more compact and firm. This condition favours the growth of the Rhizophora sp. Gradually, the Rhizophora sp. Replaces the pioneer species. The seeds of the Rhizophora sp. show distinct viriparity. The prop root system of the Rhizophora sp. traps silt and mud, creating a firmer soil structure over time. The ground becomes higher. As a result, the soil is dries because it is less submerged by sea water.

the condition now becomes more suitable for another mangrove species, the Bruguiera sp. Which replaces the Rhizophora sp. the buttress root system of the Bruguiera sp. Forms loops which extend from the soil to trap more silt and mud. As more sediments are deposited, the shore extends further to the sea. The old shore is now further away from the sea and is like terrestrial ground. over time, terrestrial plants like the nipah palm (Nypa fruticans) and

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the gradual transition and succession from a mangrove swamp to a terrestrial forest and eventually to a tropical rainforest which is a climax community takes a long time. That is why we need to conserve and preserve our mangrove forest.

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