Mangrove of citrus Ridge
Not far from Citrus Ridge, the mangrove is a unique place worth visiting. Mangroves need calm, swell-free water to deve- lop. It is preserving the reef, by breaking the swell, which protects and provides the mangrove with a favorable environment. But the mangrove is also an excellent barrier between the violent ocean and the fragile coast.
Located at the inter- section of the terres- trial and reef envi- ronments, the mangroves serve as a hyphen connecting two completely sepa- rate universes.
The marriage of the reef and the mangrove vegetation is absolutely breathtaking. Each element of this ecosystem has a role to play in maintaining this fragile balance and this sweet harmony of which only Nature holds its best kept secrets.
In perfectly clear water, corals and small reef fish rub shoulders with the roots, branches and leaves of mangroves.
The mirror of water formed by the perfectly smooth surface gives the impression of the garfish flying in the sky and between the branches of the trees. At the bend of a root, a school of apogon fish peace- fully swims in this Eden for fry.
Composed of mangroves with long roots growing on salt-rich land bordering the sea, the mangro- ves alone constitute a dynamic ecosystem whose vital role is to serve as spawning grounds and nurse- ries for many pelagic species or reef juveniles.
The mangroves being the basis of these unique ecosystems, particularly around their complex root systems, are host to countless algae, barnacles, oysters, sponges and cnidarians. They all require hard substrates to anchor while they filter their food.