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Brazil Eco Travel

Mangrove

Hiking Tours / Brazil – Mangrove is an ecosystem of the Atlantic Rainforest / (Mata Atlântica), that belongs to the group of the pioneer formations. Distinct from the restinga and caixetai ecosystem, it is subjected to fluvial - marine influence. Mangrove forests are one of the most productive and biodiverse wetlands on earth.

Growing in the intertidal areas and estuary mouths between land and sea, where the salty water from the sea is continuously mixed with the sweet water from the rivers, mangroves provide critical habitat for a diverse marine and terrestrial flora and fauna. Healthy mangrove forests are key to a healthy marine ecology.

These unique coastal tropical forests are among the most threatened ecosystems in the world. Mangrove forests once covered 3/4 of the coastlines of tropical and sub-tropical countries. Today, less than 50% remain, and of this remaining forest, over 50% is degraded and not in good shape. Brazil has one of the largest mangrove- extensions in the world, which are already being monitored by satellites.

An interesting topic concerning the biology of mangroves is the fact that they have developed some interesting adaptations for coping with the saltiness of their homes. Some mangroves have salt-excreting glands on or near their leaves. Others exclude salt at the roots. In addition, mangroves often have to deal with stagnant water conditions. Lack of gaseous exchange in the substrate requires the mangroves to have special breathing structures on the exposed roots and/or trunk. Some have aerial prop roots bending down from either trunk or branches, while others have no elaborate physical structures. A final interesting fact in the biology of some mangroves trees is their ability to germinate within the fruit while still on the tree, contrary to the normal act of falling to the ground first before germinating, which is exhibited in most trees.

Along the Brazilian coast occur three types of mangrove species: the Red, White and the Black Mangrove (Siriúba). The Red Mangrove is the richest known source of tannin which is widely used in pottery and to dye and protect fishing nets – Ecological Travel / Brazil.

Our guided eco trekking & mountain bike tours include visits to the mangrove ecosystem in the following conservation units:

    • National Parks: Superagüi (PR)
    • State Parks: Ilha Grande (RJ) and Ilha do Cardoso (SP)
    • Juréia - Itatins Ecological Station (SP) and Juatinga Ecological Reserve (RJ).