Factors Affecting the Standing Biomass of Mangroves

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Mangroves are ecologically and economically important as a natural renewable resource (Field 1995). They are considered productive ecosystems and important source and sink of carbon within the tropical coastal zone (Twilley et al. 1992; Ong 1993; Alongi 1998). The ecological processes in mangroves (productivity, nutrient cycling, litter dynamics, succession and sedimentation) make them most productive ecosystems in the coastal region (Clough & Attiwill 1982; Hutchings & Saenger 1987; Aksornkoae 1993). The uses and values of mangroves are linked to their ecological functions such as habitat quality, water quality, shoreline protection and aesthetics (Twilley & Chen 1997). Mangrove communities are characterized by higher primary productivity compared to other terrestrial plant communities (Lugo and Snedaker, 1974). Though standing forest biomass is not a direct measurement of primary productivity, it is often used for comparison of the potential productivity (Clough and Attiwill, 1982; Hutchings and Saenger, 1987). Standing biomass provides information on primary productivity, storage and cycling of nutrients in mangroves. It also measures the degree of maturity, structural development and stress level to determine the degree of restoration and evaluation of commercial-valued biomass for companies involved in wood exploitation and silvicultural practices (Soraes, 1997 in Soares and Novelli, 2005). Biomass studies of mangrove forest throughout the world are shown in (Figure 1). Mangrove plant at different places showed wide range of standing biomass from 6.80 t/ha (Woodroffe, 1985) to 460 t/ha (Putz and Chan, 1986). Unlike other forested ecosystem biomass production in mangroves is influenced by variety of factors viz. geographical location, forest types, stand structure, biomass partition and abiotic factors. Present study aims to identify the possible factors and their impact on standing biomass of mangroves from the available literature....
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