Mangroves protect the coastline during storms. In flat areas, saltmarsh can grow behind the mangroves where it is still salty from high tides. Where the high tide can’t reach the land, coastal forest can establish itself.
Out in the shallow sea seagrass meadows may be growing. Seagrass meadows can grow in both tropical waters and the cooler seas in the south. Some tropical mangroves have coral reefs close by.