for Tool Mangrove Restoration : A Potential Developing Management in Tropical Coastal Countries

  • Kaly U
  • Jones G
  • 19

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Abstract

Mangrove ecosystems are important coastal habitats in tropical regions, directly or indirectly supporting subsistence and commercial fisheries. However, they are under threat in developing countries, where stands are being felled to accommodate a variety of human activities. An estimated aerial loss of 1% per year is occurring in Asia and the Pacific, with some areas having lost 70% of their original mangrove habitat. Due to continued disturbance, altered soil conditions and limited dispersal, natural recovery may be slow. This paper discusses mangrove restoration as a potential tool for the management of coastal ecosystem. We examine briefly the connections between mangroves and fisheries, and outline an ecosystem approach to evaluate mangrove restoration initiatives. Past mangrove restoration projects in developing countries have focussed only on methods of re- establishing trees, with little attention given to assessing whether ecosystem function is restored. However, the goal of mangrove restoration projects should be to actively promote a return to the natural assemblage structure and function (within the bounds of natural variation) that is self-sustaining. This goal requires: (i) identifying the natural state, including key organisms in maintaining the physical substratum, community structure and food webs maintaining fish stocks; (ii) developing biotechnology for restoring key organisms; and (iii) assessing the long-term success of the project. As restoration promises to be an important tool for maintaining coastal ecosystem health in developing countries, priority should be given to incorporating restoration projects and their evaluation into coastal management plans

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Authors

  • U L Kaly

  • G P Jones

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