We all love going to the beach, watching the blue sky, feeling the warm breeze and touch the sand with our feet. However, only a few people know about the importance of mangroves in places like these. This admirable type of trees can even protect a coastline from the effects of some natural catastrophes. Keep reading to learn more about Galapagos mangroves and their importance.
What are they?
The mangroves are forest species that can be found in lagoons, banks and on tropical coasts. This group of trees has adaptations that allow them to survive on drowned lands with salt water and withstand very well the flooding and the aggressive saline conditions of the coasts, these amazing trees can also resist the constant interaction with the marine currents, the tides, the waves, the winds, the sedimentation and the flow of the rivers.
Its main feature is the structure of its roots that submerge in the water and surround the coastal areas. Mangroves have a high ecological value and are home to a high biodiversity, they also provide an economic and sociocultural value.
How Many Types is There?
The Galapagos Islands are well-known for their variety of wildlife, as well as its endemic animals and plants. In the archipelago, more specifically, at Isabela Island are 4 main types of mangroves including:
- Red mangrove can reach up to 10 meters high and have healing properties, antibiotic, antiseptic and disinfectant capacity. It is grayish on the outside and reddish on the inside. And it is the most common in Galapagos islands.
- White mangrove is a very slender mangrove that can reach 20 meters in height. This species is arboreal in appearance. Leaves are smooth, oblong and light green in color with notched tips.
- Black mangrove has the highest salt tolerant, its trunk has a black tone and its leaves are pointed with salt inlays. Trees grow to 20 meters in height.
- Button mangrove is a very branched bush that does not exceed 4 meters in height. Its branches are fragile and has green flowers that mature into a round purple fruit.
How Do They Help The Ecosystem?
Mangroves are vital for the ecosystem as they contribute to the food chain by feeding many species of the coast. In addition, they provide refuge for fishes, crustaceans, birds and some endangered endemic species of great commercial interest, such as lobsters. On the other hand, they also gave functional relationship with coral reefs, the largest sea ecosystem.
Mangroves, also prevent coastal erosion, as they cushion the harmful effects of storms and floods. They also remove toxins and excess nutrients from the ground and contribute to the creation of soil.
Would you like to see these amazing mangroves? Embark on a brand new adventure to the Galapagos! Start planning your trip by staying at Ikala Galapagos Hotel. Located in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, we offer the best service, delicious food and comfortable rooms.