Food Chains and Webs
The food chain of a mangrove forest relies heavily on the recycling of the detritus, made by the falling leaves of the trees. This role is mainly filled by the smaller creatures, such as the burrowing crab and the snapping shrimp. Others like the tube worm and bristle worm also do this. These species, because they are eating the plant material, are considered the primary consumers of the ecosystem and the mangroves are the main producers. One step above these creatures is the smaller fish of the mangrove forests. Some of these fish are the mosquitofish, the least killifish, and the sail fin molly. The top level of this food chain are the wading birds, such as egrets or ospreys. They feed on the fish is the community, who take shelter in the roots of the mangrove trees. Other birds of this ecosystem are the white-crowned pigeon, the eastern brown pelican, and the tricolored heron.