Mangrove Forests and Seagrasses of the Indian River Lagoon

The Indian River Lagoon is a plant based ecosystem. Zooplanktons, manatees and even mullet depend on sea grasses, mangroves and algae for food. Living in the sea grasses are shrimp, seahorses, marine snails, crabs and a wide variety of fish, many of which provide food for other marine creatures such as stingrays, snook, trout, red fish and other predators. These same plants also act as filters removing impurities. Mangrove forests help stabilize the shorelines and they provide a nursery where many types of fish, crustaceans and other animals spend at least a part of their lives. Finally, the mangroves serve as nesting and roosting sites for many birds, such as egrets, pelicans and other birds.

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