Mangroves in the Everglades

 Mangroves in the Everglades

On your Everglades tour at Everglades Holiday Park, the boat captain will take you through various channels of winding waterways. As you zip across the river of grass, you are bound to see masses of tangled roots forming thick, dense mangroves. You might wonder what exactly these are, and how they contribute to life in the Everglades.

What exactly are mangroves? Mangroves are trees and shrubs that are adapted to life in brackish water environments. They are typically red, black, or white. They look like dense, thick, tangled prop roots that make their connected trees appear to rise above the water. Mangroves are shaped like this as an adaptation to the daily rise and fall of the tides, which happens twice a day. They are built to withstand the harsh growing conditions and subtropical climate of South Florida.

Everglades National Park has the largest stand of protected mangrove forests in the hemisphere. Mangroves are essential to life in the Everglades. They stabilize the coastline and reduce erosion from storm surges, waves, and tides. They provide a safe habitat for birds, reptiles, fish, and other animals seeking shelter from Everglades predators.

During the dry season, you can expect to see wading birds within the mangroves of the Everglades, using them as a home to feed and nest. During the wet season, mangroves serve as a defense against the strong winds of hurricanes traveling across South Florida.

Make sure to keep your eyes peeled on your Everglades tour, as your captains will point out various animals hiding within these mangrove forests, like brown pelicans, snowy egrets, largemouth bass, alligators, iguanas, raccoons, and snakes.

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