Tidal Forest of Africa: Waterworld Africa Series
Catalogue Number: BAM522
Producer: Blue Ant Media
Subject: Canadian World Studies, Documentary, Nature, Science
Grade Level: 6 - 8, 9 - 12, Post Secondary
Country Of Origin: Canada
Copyright Year: 2016
Running Time: 46:00
Closed Captions: Yes
A day in the life of a southern African mangrove forest. We follow the forest and its residents through the change from high tide to low and back to high, meeting the Red-claw mangrove crabs that keep the forest clean and in so doing help it provide food and shelter for a variety of species. We also meet the Vervet monkeys that occupy the top canopy, the Mudskippers and Fiddler crabs that rule the mud flats, and the tropical fish that use the flooded forest floor as a nursery.
A gentle slope to the sea, a river fans its waters to the ocean; it has reached the realm of the ocean tides. The broad river mouth, loaded with sediments, creates a transitional environment as the tidal cycle mixes fresh and seawater rhythmically. The large amount of sediment brought down by the rivers accumulates forming long mud and sand flats.
The organic content of such sediments hosts a diverse array of marine animals and plants. When these tidal rivers enter warmer oceans, they create a unique environment called mangrove. Here, we find the only tree community that is able to live within the soft intertidal zone.
This is the playground of the charismatic Mudskipper: a fish that truly feels at home out of the water. We also meet the Vervet monkeys that occupy the top canopy, and Fiddler crabs that rule the mud flats, and the tropical fish that use the flooded forest floor as a nursery.
Mangroves are an enigma, incredibly resilient and also surprisingly fragile. Forever in flux between high tide and low tide, land and sea, salt and fresh water, they are the foundation for a dazzling variety of life on this coast. And keeping the entire system working, the red-claw mangrove crab, the unsung hero of the mangroves. A tireless worker helping to maintain and sustain this unique forest, ultimately feeding the incredible diversity in the ocean beyond. And a living reminder that our own survival depends on our connectedness with the great life-giving machine we know as Planet Earth.
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