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The mangrove is a dense, tree or shrub-like formation of woody vegetation of 1 to 30 meters in height. It is composed of one or more species of mangrove and contains few herbaceous or climbing species. The species that make up the mangrove have perennial, slightly succulent leaves with entire edges. (CONABIO-INE-CONAFOR-CONAGUA-INEGI). In Mexico, four mangrove species predominate (Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa, Avicennia germinans and Conocarpus erectus). These species may form vegetative associations or be found in mono-specific forests.

Coastal wetlands, especially mangroves, provide a wide variety of environmental services: they are  sites of nourishment, refuge and growth of juvenile crustacea and fish, and as such they sustain a large part of fishery production, but are also used as a fuel (firewood), have a high aesthetic and recreational value, act as a natural flood control mechanism and as barriers against hurricanes and saline intrusion, control erosion and protect the coasts. They also improve water quality by functioning as a biological filter, contribute to the maintenance of natural processes such as responses to sea level change, maintain sedimentation processes and serve as a refuge for wild flora and fauna, among other functions.