Mangroves in Bocas del Toro are important as habitats for breeding and development of many coastal and marine species. These are mainly fringe and sobrelavado mangrove communities. The first located along the coast of the islands and the isthmus, the latter growing on cays of coral origin, at the center of the lagoons.

The red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle, Rhizophoraceae) is the dominant specie in all environments and form pure stands in the cays, where there is no exposed soil to allow the establishment of other species. The other species, the black mangrove (Avicennia germinans, Avicenniaceae), white mangrove, button mangrove (Laguncularia and Conocarpus erecta, Combretaceae) and pine mangrove (Pelliciera rhizophorae), grow in a scattered or form small patches behind the band of red mangrove, or in the center of the larger cays where soil has formed.

The pine mangrove is extremely interesting, because in the Caribbean only is represented by remnant populations of a larger population, which occupied most of the Caribbean up before the Central American Isthmus interrupt communication between the Caribbean and the Pacific. These residual populations are very interesting from the point of view biogeographical and evolutionary, because it is assumed to have been isolated from the Pacific, since the closure of the Central American Canal, about 2.7 million years ago.

The communities of mangrove roots follow the typical pattern of the world's mangroves in areas that are exposed at low tide, here are common: Bostrichia, Caloglossa, Catenella, Murrallela (Taylor, 1979), but not in submerged sections where they are replaced by an association dominated by Caulerpa verticillata, C. racemosa, Acanthophora spicifera and Spyridia filamentosa.

(Rapid Ecological Study of the Bastimentos Island National Marine Park region)