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South Florida Aquatic Environments

Mangroves



MANGROVE LIFE
Mangrove Root and Detritus
© Richard Mieremet, NOAA


Mangrove life:

Microorganisms

Mangroves are an important part of estuarine food webs, producing large amounts of leaf litter. Leaves drop from the mangrove trees and are quickly decomposed by fungi and bacteria. This decomposed matter is referred to as detritus which is flushed into the estuary by the outgoing tides. This provides a food source for marine life including economically important shrimp, crabs, and fish. An estimated 75% of the game fish and 90% of the commercial species in south Florida are dependent upon the mangrove system during at least part of their life cycles.