G. BRAD LEWIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY G. BRAD LEWIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mangrove roots. Aerial roots of a red mangrove tree (Rhizophora mangle) in a swamp. The mangrove inhabits brackish water in tropical and sub- tropical areas. The aerial roots allow the tree to obtain carbon dioxide from the air and help to stabilise it in the soft mud. They trap soil and silt, aiding the formation of new land in coastal areas. The roots also provide support for seedlings, which are unique in that they germinate while still attached to the parent plant. Only after weeks of growth do the seedlings drop off (one seen at lower centre). Photographed at Puna, Hawaii, USA.
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