Only in the tropics do forests grow in salt water. Take this forest of mangrove trees in Phang Nga Bay in southern Thailand, one of the largest and best-preserved mangrove forests in the country. Adapted to thrive in coastal marshes and swamps, mangroves can filter salt water and withstand strong coastal storms. Virtually all mangrove forests and all species of mangrove grow only in the tropical regions of the world. They are protectors of the coastlines, acting as a buffer against storms and floods.