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General Information

Mangroves are the ecosystem that consisted of various plants, animals, living together in the environment with muddy substrates, brackish water, and tidal inundation areas. Therefore, the mangroves are generally found in coastal areas, estuaries, lakes, and some islands. The plants in genus Rhizophora are dominant and important in mangroves, it’s recognized as “Rhizophora Forest”. In the mangrove ecosystem, it consists of living things included nutrients, minerals, water, fossils, as well as weather conditions such as temperature, light, rain, moisture, and living things included producer, consumer, and decomposer. In this context, the producer means organisms that can produce their own food though photosynthesis including plants, diatom, phytoplankton, and algae. The consumer means organisms that cannot produce food by themselves; they have to feed other organisms to survive. These organisms include micro-benthic animals such as zooplankton, crabs, sea worms, aquatic animals such as fish, shrimps, birds, reptiles as well as other mammals. Some species of that are plant, meats, or plant and meat eaters. Microbes (bacteria and fungi) are other important components of mangrove ecosystem as a decomposer that break down or decompose dead organisms. Additionally, nutrients and fertilizers derived from the decomposition are deposited in the soil providing the benefits for other producers as well as some species of crabs and mollusks.

In the mangrove ecosystem, the relationship of both living and non-living things within a mangrove is complex in terms of a cycling of nutrients and energy. However, it can be simply explained that when the producer, plants, are grown by photosynthesis, the some parts of them like leaves, branches, twigs, are fallen down and deposited in the water and on the ground. Then, they are decomposed by decomposers turning into the organic matters which are the nutrients for the organisms which eat organic matter. These organic matter eaters are rapidly reproduced and become as a protein source for other small animals. Later, the small animals become a food for bigger animals such as shrimps, crabs and fish, while some of them may die and be decomposed releasing the nutrients accumulated in the mangroves. Without any other external disturbances, these relationships are naturally continued with balance. 

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Mangrove Ecosystem

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