- December 28, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject – Environment
Context – Deepen understanding of Indian mangrove ecosystems, says mangrove scientist
- Mangroves are the plant communities occurring in inter-tidal zones along the coasts of tropical and subtropical countries.
- Mangrove forests perform multiple ecological functions such as production of woody trees; provision of habitat, food, and spawning grounds for fin-fish and shellfish; provision of habitat for birds and other valuable fauna; protection of coastlines and accretion of sediment to form new land.
- Mangrove plants have several unique adaptations that allow them to survive in harsh environment. Mangroves are extremely important to the coastal ecosystems they inhabit.
- Physically, they serve as a buffer between marine and terrestrial communities. They protect coastlines from damaging winds, waves, and floods.
- Mangrove has an important role in improving water quality by filtering pollutants and trapping sediments from the land. They reduce coastal erosion.
- Ecologically, they provide habitat for a diverse array of terrestrial and marine organisms.
- The area of mangroves has greater species diversity as it is the junction of terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
- They have very high salt tolerance and so some species which require this ambience also thrive upon mangroves.
- According to one of its oft-quoted definition, “Mangroves represent a characteristic littoral (near the sea shore) forest ecosystem and they are mostly evergreen forests that grow in sheltered low lying coasts, estuaries, mudflats, tidal creeks backwaters (coastal waters held back on land), marshes and lagoons of tropical and subtropical regions”.
- Mangrove Forests trees project different types of roots:
- Prop – They are down into the water
- Air – They are vertically configured up from the mud
- Stilt – These roots emerge from the main trunk of the tree; also called adventitious roots.
- According to the Forest Survey of India, 2019, Mangroves’ cover in the country increased by 54 sq km (91.10 percent) in comparison to the 2017 assessment.
- Mangrove Cover in India is 4975 sq km (0.15 percent of the total geographical area.)
- The protection or restoration of blue carbon — organic carbon sequestered and stored over long timescales by coastal vegetated ecosystems such as mangrove forests, seagrasses, and saltmarshes — is steadily gaining prominence as a key natural climate solution.
- Mangrove cover is divided as:
- Very Dense – 1476 sq km (29.66 percent)
- Moderately Dense – 1479 sq km (29.73 percent)
- Open Mangroves – 2020 sq km (40.61 percent)
There are three important types of mangroves:
- Red mangroves: They grow along coastlines and are the hardiest of the three major mangrove plant types.
- Black mangroves: They are named so because of their dark bark. They usually grow at slightly higher elevations than red mangroves. They have access to more oxygen because the roots are more exposed.
- White mangroves: They grow at higher elevations than red and black mangroves. Generally they do not have aerial roots. But sometimes there is unique growth of peg roots when oxygen is depleted due to flood.