Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans)
Black Mangrove Leaves
Black mangroves inhabit areas slightly higher up the inter-tidal zone than Red mangroves, where their roots can be exposed to the air as the tides drops. Black mangroves can be distinguished by the thin vertical projections that grow from their roots underground and extend outwards around the tree. These "vents" for air exchange to the roots are known as pneumatophores. Similar to Red mangroves, the seeds of the Black mangrove are able to germinate while still attached to the parent tree. This unique adaptation increases the reproductive success of these species in the adverse conditions in which they are found.
Black mangroves are quite common on East & South Bimini, and can still be found in a few spots along the eastern shoreline of North Bimini.
Pneumatophores of the Black
Night Herons (Nyctanassa violacea) and other sea birds are often seen prowling the pneumatophores of the Black mangroves looking for small fish and crabs that hide amongst the root structures.