Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) is found in peninsular Florida, Bermuda, the West Indies, Central and South America, and Africa (Tiner 1993)
Red Mangrove is found from West Africa to the Pacific Coast of tropical America. In Africa, its latidudinal limits are not clear, but it has been recorded as far south as Angola and as far north as Mauritania. In the Americas it has a wide distribution on the Atlantic side, from about 25° N in Florida south to eastern Brazil; on the Pacific side, Red Mangrove occurs from Mexico to northern Chile, where its southern range is limited by cold, dry climate. Populations in New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa are treated by some researchers as a form of R. mangle, but by others as a closely related but distinct species, R. samoensis. There has been some suggestion that R samoensis co-occurs with R. mangle in Pacific South America. (Tomlinson 1986)
Red Mangrove propagules from Florida were introduced to the southwestern part of Moloka'i (in the Hawaiian Archipelago) in 1902 to stabilize coastal mudflat erosion from pastures and sugarcane fields and for honey production. The mangrove introduction on Moloka'i was very successful, and today it composes the largest stand of mangroves in the Hawaiian Islands. The first confirmed mangrove introduction on O‘ahu occurred in 1922 when several species of Old World mangroves, possibly including Red Mangrove, were planted in He‘eia by the Hawaiian Sugar Planter’s Association. However, there is a report of a small mangrove tree growing near Honolulu as early as 1917, probably a propagule from Moloka‘i. Most of the (at least) six species of mangroves or closely associated species that have been introduced to Hawai‘i over the years have disappeared or are very limited in their distribution (Allen 1998). However, Red Mangrove has been very persistent and has successfully colonized all the main islands except Kaho‘olawe and Ni‘ihau. (Chimner et al. 2006 and references therein). This species has been introduced and become established in other far flung places as well, such as Tahiti (Zomlefer et al. 2006).
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