• Drop roots and prop roots are visible in a typical cluster of red mangrove in the Dominican Republic. The calm water is a result of the intricate root system absorbing wave energy.

    Photograph by John Anton, My Shot
  • Mature red, black, and white mangrove trees in the Biosfera de la Reserva de Ra in Celestun, Yucatan, Mexico, create a leafy tunnel.

    Photograph by Veronica Guerrero Cajiga, My Shot
  • A small crab makes its home in mud surrounded by mangrove snorkel roots in a mudflat in Kenya, East Africa. Many invertebrates rely on mangroves for food and habitat.

    Photograph by Lindsey Elliott, My Shot
  • Black mangrove pneumatophores, or snorkel roots, emerge from the mud in Boca Ciega Millennium Park, Seminole, Florida. Densely packed mudflats are the usual habitat for this species of mangrove. Mangroves use lenticels, or tiny pores, located on these specialized roots to help the trees breathe in anoxic environments.

    Photograph by Scott Sroka
  • A salt-tolerant red mangrove tree grows in shallow subtropical waters. Mangrove trees stabilize sediment with their roots and create new land as their leaves fall into the water and the trees' drop roots expand outward.

    Photograph by Carmen Hertel, My Shot
  • The roots of red mangrove trees create an ecologically diverse habitat in tropical waters, providing substrate, nursery grounds, and protection for local flora and fauna.

    Photograph by Tay Tousey, My Shot

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Oil's Impact on Black Mangrove Trees
Oil's Impact on Black Mangrove Trees Activity

Best For
6 - 8

Geography, Science

Appropriate For

  • Educators

Students learn about the basic ecology of mangrove ecosystems. They build a model to understand how a black mangrove breathes in an anoxic environment. Then they simulate an oil spill in their mangrove model to investigate how the black mangrove tree is affected by oil.