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:

(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 On Monday, ... call to industry to share solutions for the Biometric ... U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), explains that CBP ... are departing the United States , ... and to defeat imposters. Logo - ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... Securus Technologies, a leading provider of ... safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that after ... secured the final acceptance by all three (3) ... Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have contracts ... by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate wireless ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... ALBANY, New York , June 15, 2016 ... published a new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market ... Trends and Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the ... at USD 11.60 billion in 2015 and is ... and reach USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as ... the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship ... and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering ... debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing ... advance its drug development efforts, as well as purchase ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner to us ... bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Apellis ... Phase 1 clinical trials of its complement C3 ... single and multiple ascending dose studies designed to ... (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... (SC) either as a single dose (ranging from ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only free validated ... will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June 30, 2016 ... on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. DIA (Drug ...
Breaking Biology Technology: