Root Snorkel

Definition - What does Root Snorkel mean?

Root snorkels are enlarged plant roots that can be found on plants that grow in highly humid areas such as bogs and swamps. These special types of roots help the plants get enough oxygen by typically rising above the surface of the water, acting like snorkeling tubes above the water.

Root snorkel roots can often be found in muddy soil, coral rock, peat, and sand. Root snorkels are an example of plants naturally evolving and developing ways to help themselves survive in typically inhospitable environments.

MaximumYield explains Root Snorkel

Mangrove plants commonly sport root snorkel roots since these plants tend to grow in areas that are nearly 100 times saltier than what most other plants can tolerate.

As a result, the roots protrude above the surface of the water, absorbing enough oxygen for the mangroves to thrive in spite of the daily flooding by the tides.

Snorkel root systems tend to multitask and often arch quite high above the water level. Depending on the individual plant, the roots can be narrow and extend away from the trunk or display a wavier and wider structure.

Along with providing adequate both structural and oxygenic support, root snorkels sport a multitude of lenticels that close up when the tide comes in, hence preventing the plant from drowning.

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