We review 72 published articles to elucidate characteristics of biomass allocation and productivity of mangrove forests and also introduce recent progress on the study of mangrove allometry to solve the site- and species-specific problems. This includes the testing of a common allometric equation, which may be applicable to mangroves worldwide. The biomass of mangrove forests varies with age, dominant species, and locality. In primary mangrove forests, the above-ground biomass tends to be relatively low near the sea and increases inland. On a global scale, mangrove forests in the tropics have much higher above-ground biomass than those in temperate areas. Mangroves often accumulate large amounts of biomass in their roots, and the above-ground biomass to below-ground biomass ratio of mangrove forests is significantly low compared to that of upland forests (ANCOVA, P < 0.01). Several studies have reported on the growth increment of biomass and litter production in mangrove forests. We introduce some recent studies using the so-called “summation method” and investigate the trends in net primary production (NPP). For crown heights below 10 m, the above-ground NPP of mangrove forests is significantly higher (ANOVA, P < 0.01) than in those of tropical upland forests. The above-ground litter production is generally high in mangrove forests. Moreover, in many mangrove forests, the rate of soil respiration is low, possibly because of anaerobic soil conditions. These trends in biomass allocation, NPP, and soil respiration will result in high net ecosystem production, making mangrove forests highly efficient carbon sinks in the tropics.