Mangrove Reproduction

The majority of mangrove species are pollinated by animal vectors, with the exception of Rhizophora which is also wind pollinated. Animal vectors include moths, butterflies and other insects, as well as birds and bats. Bees are also important vectors for many species and mangrove forests are used for honey production. Different mangrove species may be dependant on specific vectors, some species such as Bruguiera spp. and Ceriops tagal have explosive pollen discharge from petal pouches, to ensure that nectar-feeding birds collect pollen.


Many mangrove species including Bruguiera, Ceriops, Kandelia and Rhizophora, display vivpary. In these species, seeds germinate and develop into seedlings while still attached to the plant (see picture of mangrove seed pods on tree), there can be a period of dormancy so the seedlings can be dispersed. In Aegialitis, Avicennia, Aegiceras and Nypa, there is some embryo development, but the seed case is not ruptured whilst attached to the plant, this is called cryptovivipary.

Viviparous development provides a source of mangrove seedlings for replantation, without a nursery stage.

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