Preserving one of Egypt’s most efficient Ecosystem: the Mangrove | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

In the brackish waters lapping the shores of the Red Sea lies an unsung hero: the mangrove.

Mangroves are trees and shrubs that have evolved to thrive in harsh saltwater environments. The ecosystems in which they are found are among the most important and productive in the world. But despite their significance, mangroves are one of the world’s most threatened ecosystems. A 2010 study by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization found 20 percent of all mangroves have been lost since 1980.

The importance of these unique trees cannot be overstated. They are a vital component and link in marine ecosystems, supporting an impressive web of life and numerous other ecological services. They also hold significant economic and cultural value to humans, providing us with a host of direct and indirect  benefits (...)

 

Amgad al-Shaffai, a marine environment specialist, says of the 95 mangrove species found globally, two are found in Egypt — the grey mangrove and the red mangrove. The red mangrove is considerably less common, only found in areas south of Shalateen.

In Egypt, mangroves often grow in sheltered locations at the mouths of wadi systems. Although the wadis run dry most of the year, the mangroves benefit from the sporadic outflows of freshwater. “While mangroves tolerate very salty environments, they need freshwater sources to function and receive a boost from wadi flash floods,” says Sara al-Sayed, a biomimicry specialist (...)

 

Salvation plan

In light of the importance of mangrove ecosystems and the persistent threats they face, certain actions are required to minimize the threats against them and ensure their continued presence along the shores of the Red Sea.(...)

 

More on: http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/preserving-one-egypt-s-most-efficient-ecosystem-mangrove