Major Ecosystems in Thailand
- Thailand's National Parks each provide ecotourists with the opportunity to see several major ecosystems and the distinctive plant and animal species that inhabit each of them.In detailing each Marine Park we will describe where the major ecosystems are and link back for precise details on the systems and the relevant plant and animal species. Essentially these are divided into those above the water and below the sea surface.
- Below the water surface are the coral reefs. Coral reefs and their marine life vary between those in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Siam. Reef species also vary depending upon the depth of the sea.
- Above the sea surface the ecosystems to see are the Karst Limestone mountains and peak like outcroppings, Mangrove and Coastal vegetation ecosystems, the Tropical Mixed Deciduous Forests, the coastal marshes and swamps and the Tropical Evergreen Forests.
- Corals are animals and not plants and coral reefs are made from colonies of coral invertebrates, each producing a calcium carbonate skeleton, its outside (exoskeleton). Each species of coral produces a different shaped exoskelton, thus together forming different exoskeletons.
- Mangroves form another floral region with distinct animals and plant life. Mangroves grow where there is brackenish water from fresh water run off to the sea and in estuaries. They can be seen in lagoons, around protected bays or inlets. They are few in species numbers but provide shelter to house a wide variety of wildlife. Mangrove clusters trap silt and organic material to accumulate nutient rich areas for animal life and particularly breeding grounds for fish and invertebrates. Mangroves also provide shelter from the effects of harsh sea water movements to provide a breal water to prevent erosion of the coast lines. The principal varieties are Black Mangrove and Red Mangrove.