Thursday, March 18, 2010

Man Oh Man Oh Mangrove


Honeymoon Island Florida

Take the Mangal Cay Mangrove Island tour

The Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) is the tallest of all local species. It grows to heights over 80 feet tall (25m). It has large broad leaves grow to 5 inches (12cm) and terminate with a blunt point. The leaves are waxy, dark green above and pale green below. The trunk and limbs have grey bark that covers a dark red wood. The key characteristics of the Red mangrove are the "prop roots" derived from the trunk and “drop rootsfrom the branches. The seedling or propagule is almost 6 inches long (l5 cm) and cigar-shaped.

The second tallest species is the Black mangrove (Avicennia germinans), reaching heights over 65 feet(20m). The elliptical, green leaves approach lengths of 4 inches (10cm) and are often encrusted with salt. The leaf undersurface is covered with dense hairs. The bark is dark and scaly. The key characteristics of the Black mangroves are the aerial roots known as pneumatophores born from underground horizontal cable roots. Living in oxygen deprived sediment more than 10,000 pneumatophores may be found on a single tree. The propagules are approximately one inch (2-3cm) long and lima bean shaped.

The White mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa) is the smallest species existing as a tree or shrub with maximum heights of 50 feet (l5 m). The leaf shape is a broad, flat oval rounded at both ends. Leaf lengths approach three inches (7cm). Two glands are found at the base of each leaf at the apex of the petiole. When growing in oxygen deprived sediment the White mangrove often develop peg roots which are similar to pneumatophores except they are shorter and more stout in appearance. The propagules are very small, usually less than 0.2 inches (0.5 cm).

The Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus) is an associate of the community, but is more frequently found in the upland transitional zone. Its pointed leaves possess salt glands as openings alternating along the midrib on the underside of the leaf. Rough bark exists on older trees which is often covered with epiphytes (plants which live on other plants). Rather than producing seedlings that germinate on the parent tree, buttonwoods flower with the formation of a button-like seed case.

SEACAMP ASSOCIATION, INC. 1998 Florida Department of Education

Discover Life in the Mangrove

Black and White mangroves regulate ionic concentration by excreting salt through glands on the leaf surface.

Lenticels and spongy tissue in red mangrove prop roots and modified branches facilitates gas
(oxygen) exchange.

In Black mangroves, spongy pneumatophores (up to l0,000 per tree) extend up to 20 cm above the sediment.

What is a propagule?

The red mangrove flowers mostly during the summer months. The long cigar shaped propagules are often found hanging on the tree all year long. The black mangrove flowers all summer long with the lima bean shaped propagules produced during late summer and early fall. The white mangrove flowers mid to late summer with small green pea shaped propagules produced a month later.

Hurricanes and Mangroves... check this out

A REALLY COMPLETE STUDY FROM THE Earth Encyclopedia on mangroves.

As always leave your comments in the comment box

What do you think?

How does this help your understanding of coastlines and habitats?

What more would you like to know?.


  1. Hey Mr.V,
    I read the Black Mangrove section, and thought it really helped me understand it more. So I printed out some pictures. Your blog really helps!


  2. Hi Mr.V
    i really love that u hav this beach teach blog its really organized and educated.

    Crystal Bell

  3. hey Mr.v
    your blog has really helped me 2 help teach my species about the black mangroves. about the roots the trunk and the leaves.


  4. I am so very glad this helps you.

    Bonus points for each comment kiddos.

  5. I like all of the information and all, but i think the song is definetly the Best!


  6. Hey Mr. V...Today in class you told us the names and a short story of a few scientists that we could read a biography on, and I REALLY wanted to do the crazy man who got his nose bitten off, BUT I CAN'T REMEMBER HIS NAME!!! I've asked everyone! And I've used every source! But I just can't find his name ANYWHERE! you'd think a guy who'd gotten his nose bitten off would pretty memorable!I thought that the mangrove videos where gorgeous, but on the first video, did that Ibis that appeared at 0:55 have oil in it's feathers? My favorite mangrove was the Black Mangrove because it had pretty leaves...what kind of mangroves does our school have?
    Kaitlyn C., Yellow

  7. Tycho Brahe

    His nose and his pet moose make for an entertaining story.

  8. Thanks Mr. V.
    Kaitlyn C Yellow

  9. i thought you said that their is a man oh man oh mangroves game? am i missing something?

  10. mr v i was looking for the mangrove song to print out but i cant find it where is it jake red

  11. Jake it is at

    Which is the October 2010 MR V BEACH TEACH archive