Tai Tam: The Natural Shelter to Changing Climates
Situating in the subtropical region, Hong Kong has four distinct seasons and it nurtures a large array of ecosystems. With mangroves as one of the most important local ecosystems, the famous wetland site -- Mai Po is no stranger to many Hongkongers. But for better proximity, Tai Tam Mangrove is a perfect choice for those on Hong Kong Island who fancy a trip to nature.
The Tai Tam Mangrove is located in an inner bay, where the shore is protected from waves. With calm water, organic matter precipitates and fertilises the soil, giving growth to the mangrove. It is also because of its coastal location, mangrove species have learnt to live with unique tidal and thermal conditions. Seeds of many Kandelia obovata are pointy so they could firmly plant into the soil upon falling from trees. The seeds resist tidal currents by doing so. On the other hand, benthic organisms, such as Sesarmid Crabs and Fiddler Crabs, have evolved by camouflaging to live in the sandy environment.
The value of mangroves goes beyond its rich biodiversity. They are found to be larger carbon sinks than tropical rainforests. Besides being a strong force in tackling climate change, the mangrove could be a natural and cost effective breakwater. During typhoons and strong waves, mangroves help shield the coastlines and prevent erosion. Along the Island Coastal Trail, you can visit the mangrove by hiking along the Tai Tam Reservoir from Tai Tam Road. Or find out more here about the mangrove.