Plants are one of the most successful living organisms on Earth. They can occur in almost every corner of the Earth, to different conditions of hot and dry climate of the dessert; cold and dry climate of the Artic; cold, wet and low oxygen up in the mountains; in the water; or in high salinity such as in the mangrove and estuaries. However, to survive in harsh condition, plant need to have a special characteristic to tolerate the environment where it occur.
Mangrove swamp is one of the harshest environments for plants. The soil has high salinity; unstable in structure and excessive water content limits oxygen penetration into the soil. Despite of the extreme condition, mangrove is amazingly covered with ‘green blanket’ and even renowned as one of the most productive ecosystem on Earth. Mangrove plants have special characteristics which made it physically, chemically and biologically tolerant to the environment it occurs.
Mangrove swamps have seawater inlet which diluted by regular rainfall, groundwater flows and rivers. Where conditions are good, mangrove can grow up to an average height of 30 meters. Some species can reach up to 35 meters but usually does not exceed 40 meters. Larger mangrove forest shows distinct structures where obvious zonation of different species domination is obvious. The vegetation zonation in the mangrove most likely formed due to variations in salinity level which occur over distance from the sea, riverbanks or waterways (source of saltwater).
There are 32 identified plant species in KK Wetlands. It consists of 15 species of ‘true mangrove’ species and 17 ‘associate mangrove’ species. As what usually seen in most mangrove forest, Rhizophora apiculata (Bakau Minyak) species dominate higher percentage of the total area of KK Wetlands. The second most abundant species is the Avicennia sp. which found mostly along the waterways and around the Bird Hide areas.