This is the fifth installment of 12 Things to Experience on an Everglades Airboat Tour which can also be downloaded as a free eBook.
Mangroves are one of the true Florida natives. Florida has an estimated 469,000 acres of mangrove forests. These mangroves are huge factors contributing to the overall health of the state’s southern coastal zone. They provide an ecosystem which traps and cycles various organic materials, chemical elements, and important nutrients.
The roots of a mangrove act not only as physical traps, but also provide a surface for various marine organisms to attach themselves. Many of these attached organisms can also filter water through their bodies and, in turn, trap and cycle nutrients.
Mangroves actually thrive in salty environments because they are able to obtain fresh water from the saltwater. Some mangroves secrete excess salt through their leaves, others are able to block absorption of salt at their roots. In Florida, there are 3 species of Mangroves: