Old Mangrove Tree
Vetus Mangrove Arbor
Ilha do Cardoso State Park, Ilha do Cardoso, Cananéia, São Paulo, Brazil
The mangrove is a coastal ecosystem in the transition between terrestrial and marine environments, characteristic of tropical and subtropical regions. Formed in brackish water, resulting from the meeting of seawater with river water, it has muddy soil and is rich in organic matter, serving as a substrate for the development of specific vegetation, tolerant to salinity and having vegetative organs with unusual adaptation. It is pneumatophore vegetation, that is, it breathes through the aerial roots that are above the water. The mangrove sequesters an enormous amount of carbon dioxide, from the atmosphere, mitigating the greenhouse effect, thus playing an important role in the fight against climate change. Furthermore, this coastal formation creates a smooth transition between the ocean and the mainland, holding large amounts of sediment and organic matter in its roots, anchoring the land, preventing erosion and stabilizing the coast. All of this not only forms a protective barrier that mitigates the impact of hurricanes, cyclones and even tsunamis, but also creates a favorable environment for the reproduction of several species of aquatic and terrestrial fauna, and that is where its attribution of “nursery of the sea” comes from. Located in the extreme south of the coast of São Paulo, this Brazilian conservation unit integrates one of the largest continuous areas of primary forest and composes a mosaic of protected areas. In addition to preserving a great diversity of Atlantic Forest ecosystems, from mangroves and salt marshes to the dense rainforest, it houses an exceptional historical and cultural heritage formed by sambaquis, ruins and traditional communities.