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Mangroves are the characteristic littoral plant formation of tropical and sub-tropical sheltered coastlines. Mangroves are trees and bushes growing below the high-water level of spring tides, which exhibits remarkable capacity for salt water tolerance. Mangroves occur in variety of configurations. Some species (e.g.,Rhizophora) send arching prop roots down into the water. While others (e.g.,Avicennia) send vertical “pneumatophores” or air roots up from the mud. Mangroves exhibit viviparity mode of reproduction, i.e., seeds germinate in the tree itself (before falling to the ground). This is an adaptive mechanism to overcome the problem of germination in saline water. Some secrete excess salt through their leaves, as if you look closely, you can see crystals of salt on the back of the leaves; others block absorption of salt at their roots. Adventitious roots, which emerge from the main trunk of a tree above ground level, are called stilt roots.

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