Mangrove Swamp Essay

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1. Besides the organisms in our food web, others we have learnt about include a wide variety of plants – flowering and non- flowering. Some important examples that we did not manage to observe are: Sea Derris (Derris trifoliata) Swamp Fern (Acrostichum speciosum) Blind-your-eyes (Excoecaria agallocha) Mangrove trees belonging to the  Avicennia species, known for their specialized roots which allow absorption of atmospheric oxygen  Rhizophora species Bruguiera species known for their characteristic kneed roots Sea holly (Acanthus ebracteatus) Some plants may not have been seen due to them becoming rarer. With reference to the table below, 17 plant species are endangered and 30 are rare. *Table 2. Statistics on the conservation status of mangrove plant species (T.W. Hugh Tan, pers. comm.). Status No. of species % of total Extinct 4 6.5 Endangered 17 27.5 Vulnerable 4 6.5 Rare 30 48.0 Common 7 11.5 Total 62 100 *Table taken from Mangrove conservation in Singapore: A physical or a psychological impossibility? Some of the plants in the reserve plants may not be food for herbivorous predators in the ecosystem; however they play a part in the structuring of the mangrove community especially the mangrove trees species. Their special characteristics- Aerial roots and ability to grow in sea water – allow them to be “homes” to the other mangrove inhabitants (Tomlinson, 1986, as cited in http://mangrove.nus.edu.sg/guidebooks/contents.htm). When the plants decompose, they also help in the formation of detritus, which is food for organisms such as the mollusks and mudskippers. This is how some of the plants fit into the food web. There are also animals that we did not see such as: Insects Cicada, Cotton Stainer Bug etc. Fishes

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