Journal article / Status of Mangrove Forests in Kerala

Sreelekshmi, S., Bijeesh Kozhikkodan Veettil, S. Bijoy Nandan, and M. Harikrishnan. ‘Mangrove Forests along the Coastline of Kerala, Southern India: Current Status and Future Prospects’. Regional Studies in Marine Science 41 (January 2021): 101573.

Abstract (edited): Mangrove forests are considered some of the world’s most productive ecosystems. However, these unique ecosystems are under pressure due to natural as well as anthropogenic threats globally.

Kerala has lost 95% of its mangroves during the last three decades. The floristic diversity of mangroves in Kerala was represented by 18 species of true mangroves of which, Sonneratia alba, Avicennia alba, and Ceriops tagal were found to be rare in the state.

This review examines the current status of mangrove vegetation along the Kerala coast, factors responsible for the decline of mangroves, various conservation measures adopted, and future prospects.

It was found that scientific information on the mangrove area of many districts in this state is still lacking. In this context, GIS and remote sensing would be effective tools for the identification and mapping of various mangrove patches in Kerala.

Furthermore, the conservation and restoration programmes of mangroves in the state have been accelerated after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunamis.

Since mangroves are separate and unique ecosystems in the marine environment, exclusive mangrove forest conservation laws need to be framed, legislated, and enforced. Along with this, site-specific and community-based mangrove rejuvenation and restoration programmes have to be employed for the long-term management and conservation of this fast-dwindling ecosystem.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rsma.2020.101573

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Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup

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