Mangroves grow in the upper inter-tidal zone and are found predominantly in the warm coastal areas from the tropics to some warm temperate regions, where they can form extensive forests. Mangroves are highly productive ecosystems, especially in areas where freshwater from rivers or rainfall enhances growth. They provide critical coastal protection from waves and storms, habitat or nursery areas for fish and shellfish and support the lives and livelihoods of millions of people world-wide through the provision of food, timber and fuelwood.
While large areas of mangroves are being lost through coastal development and the expansion of aquaculture, several studies have shown that mangroves are natural coastal engineers. The following reports are available for download and show that around the globe, mangroves reduce wind swell and waves (click to download) , reduce storm surge along coasts (click to download), and that mangrove surfaces are rising at similar rates to sea level rise (click to download) in a number of locations.
For more resources (reports on mangroves) visit the Coastal Resilience Resource Library on the Conservation Gateway