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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Coastal Zones

Coastal vegetation is critical to protecting a coastline from storms and as wildlife habitat.

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Saturday, April 20, 2013/Categories: natural history, sustainability, environment

Vegetation is the first line of protection for coastlines. Sea grasses, barrier islands, and mangroves all serve as natural protectors against storm surges and as critical wildlife "nurseries" for fishes and  birds.

With their thick, fibrous roots and flexible branches, mangroves are perfectly adapted for protecting coastlines from storm erosion. Young turtles, tuna, and oysters find perfect refuge within the tangled masses of root biomass.

Mangroves (credit: Wiki-commons)

Mangrove forests occur in sub-tropical and tropical environments worldwide but also along desert coasts like the Persian Gulf. In recent decades, mangroves have expanded
in the United Arab Emirates thanks to large-scale re-forestation efforts and they can even be seen from space.

Coastal Mangroves, United Arab Emirates  (credit: NASA)

Elsewhere mangroves have been cleared to produce shrimp ponds for export.The consequences of this deforestation hasn't been positive when tropical cyclones have barrel through tearing up the coasts.


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