Friday, September 13, 2013

#2 ~ What is MANGROVE FOREST?

I know mangrove is a tree that people use for charcoal and also construction. In my previous entry I already mention that I did not know so much about mangrove. So, mangrove for me is only a tree. At this new place, the operational site has lots of mangroves. This makes me realize that I have to polish my knowledge and get the answer “What is MANGROVE?”.

I Google it up and found many interesting articles and information about mangroves. When I was asked by my friend to produce one poster on conservation, straight away I told her, “I want to make a poster about Mangrove Conservation”. So, this is the poster. I am quite happy with this poster because it provides information about mangroves, what we do and what we have inside this forest besides the mangrove tree species.
The Poster!
Let’s me extract some of the information from this poster.

What is Mangrove Forests? 
● Mangrove forests consist of diverse, salt-tolerant tree and other plant species, ranging from small shrubs to tall trees tens of meters high.
● Mangrove trees have various adaptations that allow them to live in saline, tidal areas. Their dense root systems give support in the soft, water-logged sediment. In most species, the roots protrude above the soil to absorb oxygen from the air, as the sediment is oxygen-poor.
● The most extensive area of mangroves is found in Asia, followed by Africa and South America. According to the FAO, the total mangrove area is around 150,000 km2. In Malaysia, mangrove vegetation covers an area of about 577,500 ha, with Sabah having the most extensive coverage of mangroves, accounting for 59% or 341,000 ha of the country’s total whereas, Sarawak has 132,000 ha (23%) and Peninsular Malaysia 104,200 ha (18%). Sabah’s mangrove forests occur largely along the east coast, facing the Sulu and Sulawesi seas.
The Importance of Mangrove Ecosystem: 
● Mangroves are valued for the protection they provide against coastal erosion, flood control, water purification, habitat for all sorts of marine life and also for their biodiversity conservation function. 
● It is considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. 
● The important habitat for wildlife such as mammals (primates), birds (kingfishers, herons), insects (firefly), crustaceans (crabs, shrimps) and reptiles (crocodiles, lizards). 
● The mangrove forests provide natural resources in term of income generation for the fisherman community.
The local fisherman collecting mud crabs.
As a conclusion, before I start to do something I must understand them first. To get the understanding I need to put a big effort in it. This is my 3rd month and I don’t think I know that much yet. There are lots more to be done in order to make a huge impact in conserving this type of ecosystem and realizing that the local communities also play a major role, they are inside the circle as well.

The question now is, HOW? WHO? and WHEN?

Till then! Cheers!

Reference: 
Ng, P. K. L & Sivasothi, N. 2001. A Guide to Mangroves of Singapore. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, The National University of Singapore & The Singapore Science Centre. http://mangrove.nus.edu.sg 
Sabah Forestry Department. 2008. Mangrove Forest Management and Restoration, In Annual Report 2008. http://www.forest.sabah.gov.my
Post a Comment