Mangrove forests: Resilience, protection from tsunamis, and responses to global climate change
Rapid industrial development is destroying mangrove forests at an alarming rate worldwide. Especially damaging to these important coastal forests is the recent expansion of prawn aquaculture. The prawn industry has gown in both Asia and Latin America, earning immense quick profits for big-monied investors, while leaving invaluable mangrove forests, coastal ecosystems and indigenous cultures in utter ruin. Mangrove forest, sometimes called the rain forests by the sea, are found in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world.
They are unique in both the plant and animal life they support, due to their specially adapted aerial roots and salt-filtering tap roots which enable them to thrive in brackish swamp lands. Mangrove environments provide sheltered nursery and spawning grounds for much of the world's commercial and sports fisheries. Vast quantities of forest detritus provide rich nutrients for sea life, while the mangroves protect shorelines from erosion and storm damage. The bracing roots of the mangroves thus protect sea grasses and coral reefs from otherwise devastating siltation.
Presently, the world's remaining mangrove forest cover over 52 million acres of coastline in three tropical areas. Indonesia has the largest area of mangrove forest in the world, with an estimated When mangrove forest are lost, much more than trees suffer. Besides the many endangered species which depend on the mangroves for survival- such as rare shore birds, sea turtles and the nearly extinct dugong - millions of coastal fisherpeople and farmers are also adversely affected. The prawn industry often clears vast areas of mangrove forest and coastal farmland for the construction of large artificial ponds.
Under what are termed "intensive production methods," huge quantities of prawns are raised within these shallow, brackish ponds. The ponds often activate the potential acid sulfate soils, causing pH imbalances in the pond water. Processed feed, chemical additives - believed necessary to maintain healthy prawns - and the prawn excrement itself pollute both fresh and salt water resources. In spite of a constant exchange of fresh sea water for fouled pond water, in only a few years prawn production slows because of insurmountable pond pollution.
Finally the ponds are abandoned, leaving behind a legacy of barren pits and devastated eco-systems. Besides the obvious degradation of coastal ecosystems, aquacultural production has other devastating consequences. Over-use of fresh water for the prawn ponds can cause shortages of drinking water, ruin of nearby crop lands, land subsidence, and salinization of ground water supplies. Therefore, it seems that in non-disturbed environment, or in locales with similar environmental conditions, specific guilds cyanobacteria and diazotrophs may present temporal dynamics different than the general community total bacteria.
In microbial ecology literature, it is suggested that generalist bacterial taxa show a regional invariance fitting on neutral theory, being regulated by migration and random genetic drift, 12 , 47 while specialists are governs by deterministic factors. In the oil-contaminated mangrove, all the communities evaluated fitted in deterministic ecological models.
In addition to the legacy of contamination, the microbial communities present in the environment are selected by temporal dynamics of the environment. Notwithstanding, the present study revealed important insights about the distribution of bacteria and cyanobacteria in mangrove soil, and highlighted the legacy of oil contamination on the microbial community and community assembly. These findings enhance our understanding of the impact of contaminants affecting the ecological distribution of the microorganism in mangrove system.
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Contrasts between habitat generalists and specialists: an empirical extension to the basic metacommunity framework. E-mail: fiore cena. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivative License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium provided the original work is properly cited and the work is not changed in any way.
Services on Demand Journal. Environmental Microbiology Research Paper Temporal assessment of microbial communities in soils of two contrasting mangroves. Results The approach used here identified different ARISA peaks for total bacteria analysis, with fragment size ranging from to bp.