What are mangrove

Do you know mangroves?

Tomlinson (1986) reports: 'The word  "mangrove" has been used to refer either to the constituent plants of tropical intertidal forest communities or to the community itself.'  But, here in this web site, we say very simply, mangroves are plants grow in tidal area in tropics and subtropics. 

Keep it in mind that there are more than 100 species of mangrove plants in the world, among which some palms and ferns are included.

Mangroves in Japan found chiefly in Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture, are Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Kandelia obovata, Rhizophora stylosa, Avicennia marina, Lumnitzera racemosa, Sonneratia alba, Heritiera littoralis, Nypa fruticans and others.

Flower of Bruguiera gymnorrhiza
Flowers of
Bruguiera gymnorrhiza

Rhizophora stylosa
Rhizophora stylosa

Kandelia obovata, one of the hardiest mangroves, can also be seen up north from Okinawa Prefecture such as Amami-Oshima Island, Yakushima Island, Tanegashima Island, and Kiire Even in Izu of Shizuoka Prefecture, where Mt. Fuji is located, transplanted propagules have successfully rooted and have been growing.

Fruit of Kandelia obovata
Fruits and propagules of
Kandelia obovata

Salt tolerant mangroves have various unique shapes and characteristics. You can learn these interesting mangrove characteristics  through this site!

Most mangroves in Japan are not taller than 10 meters in height, but ones in Southeast Asia, Pacific, Latin America and Africa regions are much higher. What is amazing is that mangrove trees exceeding 60 meters are standing in Ecuador.

Many kinds of animals such as crabs, fish, shellfish, shrimps, waterfowls and mammals inhabit the mangrove forest which is an important home to them. In tropical Asia, you can also find groups of mangrove monkeys there.

Unfortunately, however, mangrove forests in the world have been degraded and devastated due to over-cutting (exploitation), shrimp pond construction and other causes. So many habitats of animals are threatened.

Local dwellers make use of mangroves as timbers, firewood, charcoals and so on. The decrease of mangrove resources is a big worry concerning their livelihood.

We hope this homepage helps you to feel the life in mangroves. When you have a chance, please come and see real mangroves and animals living in the mangrove forest!