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Here are TEN facts about a mangrove, as provided by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection:

* Mangroves are tropical plants that are adapted to loose, wet soils, salt water, and being periodically submerged by tides

* Four major factors appear to limit the distribution of mangroves: climate, salt water, tidal fluctuation and soil type

* There are more than 50 species of mangroves found throughout the world. Three species of mangroves are native to Florida: Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), Black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) and White mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa)

* Mangroves trap and cycle various organic materials, chemical elements, and important nutrients in the coastal ecosystem

* Mangroves provide one of the basic food chain resources for marine organisms

* Mangroves provide physical habitat and nursery grounds for a wide variety of marine organisms, many of which have important recreational or commercial value

* Mangroves serve as roosting and nesting sites for many of our birds

* Mangroves serve as storm buffers by reducing wind and wave action in shallow shoreline areas

* Mangroves assist in protecting water quality and clarity by filtering runoff and trapping sediments and debris from adjacent uplands

* Through a combination of the above functions, mangroves contribute significantly to the economy of many coastal counties of Florida and the State of Florida