Mangroves are characteristic of the plant form the beach, estuary or river estuaries and deltas in a protected area of tropical and sub-tropics. Thus, a mangrove ecosystem located between land and sea and in appropriate conditions will form the mangrove forests are extensive and productive. Because lives near the beach, often also called the mangrove coastal forest, tidal forest, swamp forest, mangrove forests or . The term mangrove itself in the Indonesian language is the name of one of the constituent species of mangrove forests are Rhizophora sp. So in the arena of scientific fields to not make the bias between the mangroves and mangrove mangrove forest has been set a standard term to name the forest that has the characteristics of life in coastal areas.
In connection with the use of the term mangrove then according to FAO (1982): mangrove is the individual plant species and plant communities that grow in tidal areas. The term mangrove is a blend of two words namely Mangue and grove. In Europe, ecologists use the term to describe an individual species of mangrove and Mangal for their communities. It is also explained by Macnae (1968) which states that the word should be used for individual nmangrove tree while Mangal is a community of several plant species.
Mangrove forests are often called the mangrove forest or swamp forest. Named by mangrove forests because most of the vegetation is dominated by mangroves, and swamp forests called because of its forests grow on land that was always flooded by brackish water. Meaning of mangroves in the ecology of plants used for bush and tree that grows in the intertidal and shallow subtidal in tropical and subtropical tidal marsh. This plant is always green and consists of various mixtures of what has good economic value for the benefit of the household (house, furniture) and industry (animal feed, paper, charcoal).
Mangrove areas are characterized by typical mangrove vegetation, especially the kinds of Rhizophora, Bruguiera, Ceriops, Avicennia, and Acrostichum Xylocarpus (Soerianegara, 1993). It also found other types of Lumnitzera, Aegiceras, Scyphyphora and Nypa (Nybakken, 1986; Soerianegara, 1993). Mangroves have a tendency to form the density and diversity of stand structures that play an important role as sediment traps and protection against coastal erosion. Sediment and plant biomass has a strong link in maintaining the efficiency and act as a buffer between sea and land, is responsible for its capacity as an absorber of wave energy and prevent intrusion of seawater into the mainland. In addition, higher plants produce habitat for the protection of young animals and its surface is useful as a substrate adhesion and growth of many epiphytic organisms (Nybakken.1986).
In general, forest communities, including mangrove forests have a characteristic physiognomy that is named for the dominant species in an area. For example in a forest is the dominant mangrove species Rhizophora sp then the forest is called Rhizophora mangrove forest.
More broadly in defining the existence of mangrove forests should pay attention to the environment including the available resources. In connection with the matter, Saenger et al. 1983 defines the mangrove resources as:
1. Exclusive mangrove, ie one or more species of trees or shrubs that grow only in mangrove habitats
2. Non-exclusive mangrove, which is any type of plant that grows in mangrove habitat, and its existence is not confined to the mangrove habitat only
3. Biota, which is all kinds of biota associated with mangrove habitat
4. Process (abrasion, sedimentation), which is any process that plays an important role in keeping or maintaining the presence of mangrove ecosystems. Species diversity of mangrove ecosystems in Indonesia is quite high
When compared with other countries in the world, the number of mangrove species in Indonesia reached 89 which consists of 35 species of trees, 5 species terna, 9 types of shrubs, lianas 9 species, 29 species of epiphytes, and 2 types of parasites (Nontji, 1987). Of the 35 species of trees, which are common on the coast is Avicennia sp, Sonneratia sp, sp Rizophora, Bruguiera sp, sp Xylocarpus, Ceriops sp, and Excocaria sp.