Lunar cycle makes mangroves flourish

Mangroves, those weird looking trees that provide habitats for beautiful creatures. No wonder people are afraid of losing this in the future. However, time showed scientists we do not have to fear, because our moon will be this forest's savior. Like every biome, mangroves also face many threats like pollution and agriculture. Environmentalists at Macquarie University in Sydney wanted to know how this affected growth and turned to satellites from NASA to look at data from 1987 to 2020. After calculating the size and density change of mangrove forests over time across Australia, the researchers noticed a curious pattern. Mangroves tended to expand in both extent and canopy cover in a predictable manner. Because the moon controls the tides, which deliver water and necessary nutrients to the trees, the team of scientists hypothesized the lunar cycle could explain this growth pattern.  Over the course of years, the plane of the moon’s orbit slowly tips. When the moon’s orbit is the least tilted relative to our planet’s equator it causes tides to have a larger range, thus between the roots of mangroves as well. The lunar cycle even appeared to overshadow other climatic factors for growth, such as El Niño. So although data from the past may seem useless then, in time it can teach us surprising facts.