Mangroves are woody trees or shrubs that grow in mangrove habitats or mangal (Hogarth, 1999). Mangrove habitat is exclusively tropical and tidal, and therefore having soil or sediment that is water-logged and saline or of variable salinity. Areas where mangal occurs includes estuaries and marine shorelines. A wide variety of plant species can be found in mangrove habitat, but some 54 species in 20 genera, belonging to 16 families constitute the "true mangroves" — species that occur exclusively in mangrove habitats and rarely elsewhere (Hogarth, 1999).
The roots of the mangrove plants stabilize the sand and mud. In areas of the world where mangroves have been removed for development purposes, the coastline has been subject to rapid erosion. They also provide a habitat for wildlife.
Mangrove is a biome.