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mangrove

mangrove, large tropical evergreen tree, genus Rhizophora, that grows on muddy tidal flats and along protected ocean shorelines. Mangroves are most abundant in tropical Asia, Africa, and the islands of the SW Pacific. The American, or red, mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) is found along the muddy shores and in the everglades of the Florida peninsula and on other tropical American coast lines.

Mangroves produce from their trunks aerial roots that become embedded in the mud and form a tangled network; this serves both as a prop for the tree and as a means of aerating the root system. Such roots also form a base for the deposit of silt and other material carried by the tides, and thus land is built up which is gradually invaded by other vegetation. The mangrove forests also can protect inland coastal areas by absorbing the effects of storm and some tsunami waves, but many mangroves have been harvested destructively on a large scale. The bark is a rich source of tannins, and the wood is used for wharf pilings and other purposes.

Some mangrove species lack prop roots but have special pores on their branching root system for obtaining air. The mangrove fruit is a conical reddish brown berry. Its single seed germinates inside the fruit while it is still on the tree, forming a large, pointed primary root that quickly anchors the seedling in the mud when the fruit is dropped.

The name mangrove is also applied to other unrelated constituents of mangrove vegetation, such as Avicennia nitida, a bush of the vervain family, called black mangrove. True mangroves are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Rhizophorales, family Rhizophoraceae.

See P. B. Tomlinson, The Botany of Mangroves (1986).

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Rhizophoraceae

Rhizophoraceae A family of trees and shrubs of tropical rain forest, especially mangroves, in which the leaves are simple, usually opposite, and have caducous stipules. The flowers are hermaphrodite, with 3–16 perigynous or epigynous sepals and petals, 8 to many stamens on the edge of the receptacle, and the ovary superior to inferior. They are related to the Combretaceae. There are 16 genera, with about 130 species, with a pantropical distribution. Four genera occur as the main trees of mangrove forests, the other occur inland.

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mangrove

man·grove / ˈmanˌgrōv; ˈmang-/ • n. a tree or shrub (families Rhizophoraceae and Verbenaceae or Avicenniaceae) that grows in muddy, chiefly tropical coastal swamps, typically having numerous tangled roots above ground that form dense thickets. ∎  (also mangrove swamp) a tidal swamp that is dominated by mangroves and associated vegetation.

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"mangrove." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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mangrove swamp

mangrove swamp A region of vegetation, found along tropical coasts, in which mangrove trees (Rhizophora species) predominate. The waterlogged soil is highly saline, and – like other halophytes – mangroves are adapted to withstand these conditions; they also possess aerial roots (pneumatophores) through which gaseous exchange occurs, to counteract effects of the badly aerated soil.

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mangrove

mangrove Common name for any one of 120 species of tropical trees or shrubs found in marine swampy areas. Its stilt-like aerial roots, which arise from the branches and hang down into the water, produce a thick undergrowth, useful in the reclaiming of land along tropical coasts. Some species also have roots that rise up out of the water. Height: to 20m (70ft). Major family: Rhizophoraceae.

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mangrove forest

mangrove forest A swamp forest, of brackish or saline water, that develops on tropical and subtropical tidal mudflats (see TIDAL FLAT), particularly in quiet creeks and estuaries. Characteristically, mangrove forest is low and dense with a tangle of aerating roots projecting above the mud. Occasionally, substantial, lofty trees occur in the mangrove interior.

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mangrove swamp

mangrove swamp A characteristic vegetation of tropical, muddy coasts, and typically associated with river mouths where the water is shallow and the load of suspended sediment is high. The aerial roots of the mangrove trees trap the sediment, favouring the gradual seaward extension of the land area.

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mangrove swamp

mangrove swamp Characteristic vegetation of tropical, muddy coasts, and typically associated with river mouths where the water is shallow and the load of suspended sediment is high. The aerial roots of the mangrove trees trap the sediment, favouring the gradual seaward extension of the land area.

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"mangrove swamp." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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mangrove forest

mangrove forest(mangal) A swamp forest of saline or brackish water, which develops on tropical and subtropical coasts (see tidal flat). Characteristically, mangrove forest has a dense tangle of aerating roots projecting above the mud. Virgin mangrove can reach 30 m tall.

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Rhizophora

Rhizophora (family Rhizophoraceae) An important genus of 6–9 species of mangrove trees which are pantropical in distribution and viviparous. Their timber is good for piles, scaffolding, and charcoal; the bark (cutch) is used for tanning.

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mangrove

mangrove tree of the genus Rhizophora. XVII. Early forms mangrowe, mangrave, later assim. to GROVE; obscurely connected with Pg. mangue, Sp. mangle.

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"mangrove." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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mangrove

mangrovebehove, clove, cove, dove, drove, fauve, grove, interwove, Jove, mauve, rove, shrove, stove, strove, trove, wove •alcove • mangrove

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