Jubail Mangrove Park in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
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Say hello to these halophytes!. Jubail Mangrove Park, Abu Dhabi
Natural vegetation is sparse here in the United Arab Emirates due to its hot desert climate and lack of rain. These harsh conditions don't stop the resilient mangroves from growing along the country's coast. These hardy trees and shrubs are halophytes and can filter as much as 90% of the salt from the seawater they live in. Despite their impressive adaptations to harsh environments, mangroves are threatened globally. Mangrove coverage has been cut in half over the past 40 years and they are dwindling three to five times faster than overall forest losses. The UN has established an International Day of Mangrove Conservation, scientific funding, Global Geoparks and World Heritage sites to try to reverse these trends. These efforts are vital; mangroves prevent erosion, storm surges and create an ecosystem for fish, crustaceans and a variety of land animals.