Mangrove in Hawaii

21 07 2007

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Because of mangrove’s ability to trap runoff and sediment, two mangrove species (the Red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle, and Oriental mangrove, Bruguiera sexangula) were introduced to Hawai’i in 1902 and 1922 by the Hawaii Sugar Planters Association to help with erosion control. Because mangrove is not native to Hawai’i, it has no natural predators to control its growth. Therefore, the mangrove started to grow uncontrollably and now causes three main problems:

1) Mangrove’s smothering root systems allow it
to out-compete all native Hawaiian plants
2) It fills in coastal regions with sediment, destroying
habitats for native plants and animals
3) The sediment that mangrove accumulates is anoxic
(lacks oxygen) and cannot support life

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