By: Alexis Santizo and Nazleen Del Rio

Mangroves- Florida's Walking Trees

Mangroves are one of Florida's native trees. They thrive in salty environments because they are able to collect fresh water from saltwater. Some get rid of extra salt through their leaves, others block intake of salt at their roots.

Florida's estimated 469,000 acres of mangrove forests contribute to the overall health of the state's southern coastal zone. This ecosystem traps and cycles various organic materials, chemical elements, and important nutrients. Mangrove roots act not only as physical traps but provide attachment surfaces for various marine organisms. Many of these attached organisms filter water through their bodies and, in turn, trap and cycle nutrients.

Worldwide, more than 50 species of mangroves exist. Of the three species found in Florida, the red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) is probably the most well-known. It typically grows along the water's edge. The red mangrove is easily identified by its tangled, reddish roots called "prop-roots". These roots have earned mangroves the title, "walking trees".

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Biotic Factors of the Mangroves

  • Animals-fish, sharks, birds, snakes, sponges, crocodile, sloths and tigers
  • mangroves- trees
  • plants
  • Algae

Abiotic Factors of Mangroves

  • Temperature
  • Light/Sun
  • Weather
  • Water
  • Salinity and Water levels
  • Nutrients
  • Climate
  • Flooding
  • Soil
  • Dissolved oxygen

Importance of Water to Florida Mangroves

Why is water important to our Mangroves here in Florida? Well, if we didn't have mangroves (due to no water) many animals and plants would have nowhere to call home.

Florida’s mangroves are one of these important native species. Mangroves are a key stabilization force for our shorelines. They serve as storm buffers, protect water quality by filtering the water, provide roosting and nesting sites for birds and nursery grounds for a variety of vertebrates and invertebrates. Mangroves also provide detritus – leaves and other vegetative materials that drop into the water and feed tiny crabs, snails and fish. Without these amazing "Walking Trees" animals and plants wouldn't be able to survive.

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Human Impacts

Mangroves are victims of dredging, filling, and diking, water pollution from oil spills and herbicides, and urban development within the state of Florida.


Classification of Crocodile

Domain: Eukaryote
Kingdom: Animalia






Species:C. porosus

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Animals of Florida's "Walking Trees"