Mangroves are various types of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics and subtropics The remaining mangrove forest areas of the world in 2000 was 137,760 km_. The mangrove biome is a distinct saline woodland or shrubland habitat characterized by depositional coastal environments, where fine sediments (often with high organic content) collect in areas protected from high-energy wave action. Mangroves dominate three-quarters of tropical coastlines. The saline conditions tolerated by various mangrove species range from brackish water, through pure seawater, to water concentrated by evaporation to over twice the salinity of ocean seawater. Healthy mangrove forests provide a vast array of important co-benefits to coastal communities around the world. These benefits include ecosystem services such as a rich cultural heritage; the protection of shorelines from storms; erosion or sea-level rise; food from fisheries; maintenance of water quality; and landscape beauty for recreation and ecotourism. In a “Blue Carbon” context these ecosystems also store and sequester potentially vast amounts of carbon in sediments and biomass.
From album: World Forest Ecosystems