Mangrove plants and trees... Importance of mangrove ecosystems
Could it be that Black Skimmers, out of their playfulness, actually contribute to the propagation
of mangroves in estuarine and oceanic environments..? Over the years I often watched and sometimes photographed these birds carrying propagules like the one above along the coast
of SW Florida. If left alone the plant seeds will evolve quickly into bushes, trees and even
forests creating a theater for an active local fauna in and around mangrove ecosystems. And, because of their ability to fix, store and filter Carbon (as well as toxins), they ultimately improve
the quality of water and air by reducing emissions of carbon dioxide... Simply put: The more mangroves, the more oxygen. Much of this has been studied, discussed and written about.
My humble intent here is to add some visual drumbeat to the science. In the time since I was
born, earth’s population has almost tripled. Resources are getting thin. Global warming with
coastal waters on the rise seems to be irreversible. Mangroves, often neglected and even
damaged or razed, could turn into an important natural defense. They grow fast given
the right conditions, and there’s no lack of space for them. The propagule below seems
to have anchored in suitable muck, while those close by are showing first green.