The provision of habitat for aquatic and terrestrial fauna and flora cannot be overlooked. 75% of all tropical commercial fish species pass part of their lives in the mangroves, where they encounter:
Other ecosystem services provided by mangroves include:
protection from strong winds & waves;
Mangroves’ protective buffer zone helps shield coastlines from storm damage and wave action, minimizing damage to property and losses of life from hurricanes and storms.
soil stabilization & erosionprotection;
The stability mangroves provide is essential for preventing shoreline erosion. By acting as buffers catching materials washed downstream, they help stabilize land elevation by sediment accretion, thereby balancing sediment loss. In regions where these coastal fringe forests have been cleared, tremendous problems of erosion and siltation have arisen.
nutrient retention and water quality improvement through filtration of sediments and pollutants;
Mangroves have been useful in treating effluent, as the plants absorb excess nitrates and phosphates, thereby preventing contamination of nearshore waters.
sequestration of carbon dioxide;
Mangroves absorb carbon dioxide and store carbon in their sediments, thereby lessening the impacts of global warming; and
protection of associated marine ecosystems
Sea grass beds and coral reefs depend on healthymangrovesto filter sediments and provide nursery grounds for resident species.
Traditional and indigenous coastal populations have found sustenance from mangroves, collecting products and resources in a sustainable manner for hundreds or even thousands of years, including: