Mangroves are woody plants or plant community's which live between the sea and the land in areas that have tides. Therefore they are found on coastlines all around the world where the water is warm enough. They can be trees but (like a'rainforest plant') they can also be shrubs or palms. All share the ability to live in salt water.
Mangrove plants have had to adapt quite a lot in order to survive in their marine environment. Their water intake is saline so they have had to make adaptations in order to rid themselves of the excess salt. One method is to excrete salt which has entered the system through their leaves. These leaves have special salt glands which are among the most active salt-secreting systems known. It is quite possible to see or even taste the salt on the leaf surfaces of species that choose this method. Another method is to reduce the uptake of salt at the roots. The last method of coping with salt is to concentrate it in bark or in older leaves that carry it with them when they drop.
Mangroves have developed special root adaptations called pneumatophores or ariel roots to deal with the soft, salty, oxygen deficient soils they live in. These pneumatophores stick out of the shallow waters allowing the mangroves to take in air at the roots. This oxygen can't go below 1 metre under the soil because of pressure so the root systems are branched out through the soil. If these roots didn't branch out the trees wouldn't be able to support their weight so they would fall down. Mangroves have made other adaptations to help them survive in their environment as well. For instance mangroves have a special method of forming their seeds. They are covered by a tough skin that protects them until they are ready to fall from the tree. When they fall this skin also allows them to float. While they are floating on the water the roots form on the seed until they are long enough to catch on the mud or san…

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