Navigation Links
Essential mangrove forest threatened by cryptic ecological degradation

The recent killer tsunami has highlighted once more the importance of coastline protection. In natural conditions, this function is taken up by mangroves, forests thriving at the edge of land and sea that are ecologically and socio-economically important for local people in tropical countries on all continents. Using biology, geography, hydrology, socio-economic interviews, and 18th-century history, an international team led by Dr. Farid Dahdouh-Guebas has demonstrated that in the recent past an increase in human-environment interactions that affect the hydrology of rivers has turned coastal mangrove lagoons into freshwater bodies.

Such elucidation of past ecosystem processes and human-environment interactions is an essential part of the Past Global Changes (PAGES) project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), funded by the U.S. and Swiss National Science Foundations as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Drawing on diverse data sources, including assessment of contemporary mangrove assemblages in southern Sri Lanka, changing water runoff patterns, and archival material from the Dutch East-India company, the researchers show that over the past few decades contemporary irrigation projects have abused the long-standing Sri Lankan tradition of freshwater management that once sustained robust irrigation-based civilizations. The researchers show that, increasingly, the magnitude of these modern irrigation projects has been such that entire river basins have been diverted to those of other rivers. Whereas these projects certainly develop the ability to grow crops inland, at the same time such practices drastically affect the coastal zone by introducing an excess of fresh water. The consequences range from adverse shifts in the composition of mangrove tree species to disrupted ethnobiological relationships, lagoon fisheries, and many additional functions provided by mangroves.

The authors believe t hat the worrying aspect of the research is that a degradation of the most vulnerable, most socio-economically important and most aesthetic species is masked by the expansion of less important species. The authors emphasize that such cryptic ecological degradation must be acknowledged by policy and decision makers if mangrove protection is an aim. The research team argues that early detection of such changes should be adopted and is essential for the prevention of further mangrove degradation.

F. Dahdouh-Guebas, S. Hettiarachchi, D. Lo Seen, O. Batelaan, S. Sooriyarachchi, L.P. Jayatissa, and N. Koedam: "Transitions in Ancient Inland Freshwater Resource Management in Sri Lanka Affect Biota and Human Populations in and around Coastal Lagoons"


'"/>

Source:Cell Press


Related biology news :

1. Could better mangrove habitats have spared lives in the 2004 tsunami?
2. The critical importance of mangroves to ocean life
3. Falling ants glide back to trunk to avoid dangers of forest floor
4. Worlds largest rainforest drying experiment completes first phase
5. Live fast, die young true for forests too
6. Shift of weather patterns necessitates rethinking of reforestation methods
7. Finding hidden invaders in a Hawaiian rain forest
8. U.N. mulls the protection of Earths forests
9. Study of energy and health in Africa focuses spotlight on charcoal and forest management
10. Fungus-farming termites descend from an African rain forest Eve
11. Assessing the Amazon Rivers sensitivity to deforestation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/14/2017)... , June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) ... international tech event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups and ... on June 15-17. During the event, nine startups will showcase ... value in various industries. France ... the international market, with a 30 percent increase in the ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... 2017 RAM Group , Singaporean ... breakthrough in biometric authentication based on a ... to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based ... by Ram Group and its partners. This sensor will ... chains and security. Ram Group is a next ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on Thursday April 13, ... ... the Investor Relations section of the Company,s website at http://www.nxt-id.com ... http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... ... host a booth at premier packaging event PACK EXPO International in Las Vegas ... Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI). , At this year’s PACK EXPO at the Last ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... Dr. Greg Leyer, Chief Scientific Officer of UAS Labs, ... presentation is at 12:10pm in the Probiotics Resource Center, Mandalay Bay Expo Hall. ... discuss how probiotics have shown impressive data in areas outside the gut including heart ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... When a downtown Greenville portion ... swift and efficient thanks to the continuing efforts of members of the Reedy ... than 50 stakeholders, including officials from area counties and cities, Renewable Water Resources ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... Diversity focused business accelerator, The Refinery , announced ... to uncover the top technology-driven, women-led startups in Boston, MA, New Haven/Hamden, CT, and ... entrepreneurial events going on that week – in Boston, it will be part of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: