Mangrove forest is a coastal wetland community where seawater from tidal forces flood and retreat from an area twice daily. It is defined by the mangrove tree, which dominate and are one of the few species able to survive such saline conditions. There are several species of mangrove that mix in these swamps, even at the northern end of this vegetation community's range. There are three species that dominate in tree form, which are Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove), Laguncularia racemosa (white mangrove), Avicennia germinans (black mangrove). They each specialize in a zone of the tidal wetland.
The mangrove forest and its estuary are full of animal life. Fish and other sea creatures use it as a sanctuary for their young, which in turn provides food for a diverse community of birds, mammals, invertebrates,
In Sonora the mangrove only makes it northward to the Seri Coast area just south of Purto Libertad. Freezing temperatures restrict its range.