MANGROVE WILDERNESS: Nature's Nursery by Bianca Lavies
Kirkus Star


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As she did in Compost Critters (1993, our favorite among her fine photographic nature books), Lavies begins with particular species, describes how they fit into their ecosystem, and implicitly suggests that such intricate relationships are fundamental to all life. The red mangroves' propagation and habits of growth are intriguing. Among other things, seedlings stay attached to the parent tree until old enough to be salt resistant, then may root nearby or survive for as much as a year while floating great distances. The Florida grove depicted here supports a wealth of species, from microscopic forms that feed on its fallen leaves and the crustaceans and fish that carry the resulting nutrients up the food chain to alligators, raccoons, and many different birds. A final note gives a fascinating glimpse of Lavies's strategies for taking her splendid color photos, which include underwater shots, an aerial view, and an informative series on the mangrove's life cycle as well as more conventional wildlife pictures. A fascinating and beautiful book.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1994
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dutton