International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem - Black mangroves (Avicennia germinans)

ORANJESTAD –   The International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem is celebrated on July 26.

Department of Nature and Environment wants in connection with this day to highlight the importance of  one of our mangroves species, the Black mangroves (Avicennia germinans)

Black mangroves (Avicennia germinans)The name of the Black mangroves refers to the color of the trunk and heartwood.

It is found primarily at the Spaans Lagoen, Mangel Halto and Santo Largo in Savaneta in a very salty habitat and is very tolerant to drastic temperature fluctuations.

Holes on the leaves of the Black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) caused by salt depositsDespite the tough growing conditions in salty organic filled soil and oxygen-deprived mud, this plant has adapted to withstand all the elements. They are recognized by the snorkel type roots called “pneumatophores” which they use to breathe even when submerged.

These mangroves have a smart way of filtering the saltwater, which is absorbed by the roots, transported to the leaves where the salt is excreted.  The excreted salt is visible in the form of salt concentrations on the leaves. The accumulation of salt on the leaves will eventually create holes in the leaves, but the leaves and holes will keep growing until it dies.

Black mangroves (Avicennia germinans)The black mangroves discharge a smell at sunrise and sunset. The leaves have a different green color, compared to other mangroves, a more greyish tone.

Snorkel type roots of the Black mangroves (Avicennia germinans)There are several uses for the black mangroves, it can be consumed upon necessity but should be handled accordingly before consumption as it may be toxic. It is a source for honey production as it is a habitat for many bees in the coastal areas with an abundancy in flowers for the high-quality honey productions year-round. The trunks have medicinal properties and the excreted salt on the leaves can be used for cooking.

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