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 (no͞o-măt′ə-fôr′, nyo͞o-, no͞o′mə-tə-, nyo͞o′-)
1. A gas-filled sac serving as a float in some colonial marine hydrozoans, such as the Portuguese man-of-war.
2. Botany A specialized respiratory root in certain aquatic plants, such as the bald cypress, that grows upward and protrudes above the water or mud into the air.


1. (Botany) a specialized root of certain swamp plants, such as the mangrove, that branches upwards, rising above ground, and undergoes gaseous exchange with the atmosphere
2. (Zoology) a polyp in coelenterates of the order Siphonophora, such as the Portuguese man-of-war, that is specialized as a float


(nʊˈmæt əˌfɔr, -ˌfoʊr, nyʊ-)

1. a specialized structure developed from the root in certain plants growing in swamps and marshes, serving as a respiratory organ.
2. the air sac of a siphonophore, serving as a float.
pneu•ma•toph•or•ous (ˌnu məˈtɒf ər əs, ˌnyu-) adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pneumatophore - an air-filled root (submerged or exposed) that can function as a respiratory organ of a marsh or swamp plant
root - (botany) the usually underground organ that lacks buds or leaves or nodes; absorbs water and mineral salts; usually it anchors the plant to the ground
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References in periodicals archive ?
Pneumatophores are like snorkels, helping the mangroves to breathe in air.
glomerata is the dominant species on rocky intertidal shores, forming patches of 90-100% cover, and is also abundant in mangrove forests, where it attaches to the pneumatophores (peg roots) and trunks of mangrove trees, forming dense aggregations (Chapman & Underwood 1995, Bishop et al.
Black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) typically grow a few feet farther from the water's edge, surrounded by hundreds of cigar-like "breathing tubes" called pneumatophores.
The mangrove may be directly exposed or poisoned via adsorption of the toxic soluble fractions of PAHs through the pneumatophores and prop roots.
The most amazing are pneumatophores, or breathing roots, reason enough to visit.
Buttresses or stilt roots are absent in the tree; pneumatophores can be 50-90 cm high and 7 cm in diameter.
and be tripped by the pneumatophores (erect roots), an adaptation to the tidal nature of this forest type.
This former back barrier sand ridge contains sulfuric materials and has developed a 2-m-thick sulfuric horizon because pyrite framboids within and surrounding decomposed mangrove pneumatophores have oxidised to form yellow jarosite mottles (4Bj horizons) and acidity where calcium availability is limited.
238) In India, the pneumatophores of grey mangroves
distinct; secondary roots branched; pneumatophores scattered;
The cypress knees area, technically called pneumatophores, are really upright growths from the roots, said to help support the trees while aerating the underwater root system.