Centro De Investigaciones Biologicas del Noroeste: Mangroves
Conservation of arid mangrove ecosystems in Baja California Sur, Mexico

Amazing facts about mangrove trees:
Unconventional root system

Mangrove trees grow in anaerobic soil, yet need to breathe and take up nutrients, a difficult task for the organism. How do they manage?

Black mangrove Roots

The black mangrove has aerial roots that grow vertically up from a subterranean main root. During low tide they are exposed to air and they breath. At high tide they are submerged in seawater and can take up necessary nutrients. Here we see aerial roots of black mangroves protruding from the mud around the tree. They are up to 20 cm long, and very dense. The lower part is connected to a main root growing inside the mud and is completely covered by numerous species of microorganisms.

Red Mangrove Roots heading downshells

The red mangrove grows its aerial roots from branches above and in the water, depending on the tide. Because these aerial roots are the main source of nutrients, they attract a large array of organisms in a jungle-like coverage, from microorganisms to larger marine creatures. Here we see an aerial root of red mangrove growing from a branch above the seawater. This root will eventually reach the mud surface.

Go back to Amazing Mangrove Facts

Go to Entrance Page of Mangrove Conservation

Comments on page content: Dr. Yoav Bashan
Design & production: Larry Miller
Version: February 2005