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gem icon West Lake Mangrove Forest [Suggest Edits]

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One of the most important figures in a mixed salt and freshwater environment, mangrove forests play an important role by providing a habitat in which many fish, mammal, bird, and reptile species flourish. Most mangrove forests are made up of three principal species which grow in slightly different environments. A unique setting and a fabricated boardwalk allow visitors to observe these three major species in their natural setting.

Combined, red, black and white mangroves tend to colonize coastlines in overlapping zones. White mangrove tends to grow in the shallowest, most inland waters, followed by the black mangrove, which prefers an intermediate environment. Red mangrove often grows the closest to open water. All three species produce either roots or pneumatophores, which help to stabilize the surrounding soil. The dense weaving and intertwining of roots and branches creates a hatchery for most big game fish native to Florida, as well as providing critical habitat for wading birds, including many endangered species.

Visitors hoping to take advantage of a unique setting where three types of mangrove as well as buttonwood trees grow won't want to miss a hike on the West Lake Viewpoint Trail. Many of the species that make their home in mangrove forests can be seen from the viewpoint. Animals ranging from alligators and turtles to heron and osprey, and perhaps even a manatee all frequent the area. The interzonal growth of mangroves can be observed here, as visitors will first encounter white, then black, and finally red mangroves.

Short Walk: A short hike on a well maintained and elevated boardwalk will reveal the various types of mangroves and the wildlife that calls the area home.

Family Friendly: Kids will love being able to clearly see a changing environment, and will also love the possibility of seeing some of the Everglades' famous and full-time residents, like manatees or alligators.

Gem Type: Other

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Mikhaila Redovian

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Shared by Mikhaila Redovian on Jun 23, 2016. All Page Views: 305. Last Month: 4.