Tropical Ecosystems are well known to be some of, if not THE most productive systems on earth. But what does this mean exactly?
Well, starting today I will be writing a series of posts about the three most important Tropical Marine Ecosystems: the coral reef, the mangrove, and the seagrass beds.
The best thing about these ecosystems is that they are strongly interlinked and are the healthiest and most productive when all three coexist in close proximity to each other! These habitats may be the most valuable in the world, by providing us with a source of food, coastal protection, high economic value, and increasing our mental well-being.
So how are they linked?
Mangroves and seagrass beds act as nursery grounds for many commercially important fish species. Once they reach adulthood, the fully grown fish will migrate to the nearby coral reef. Seagrass beds are linked to increased fish populations in nearby mangroves, and studies show that adult fish densities of a coral reef are nearly doubled when the reef is connected to a mangrove!
Other larger marine species such as sea turtles also move between these habitats for feeding, protection and mating.
Furthermore, the extensive roots system of the mangroves are well known to protect neighbouring habitats by stabilizing sediments, and along with seagrass, will filter out pollutants from the water.
Seagrass beds and the coral reef also both act to slow down wave energy reaching the shoreline, protecting both the mangroves and coastal areas from storm damage.
Make sure to check back soon for the next post where I will be discussing the important of Mangroves.
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