A Study on Mangrove Ecosystems
Ecosystems are very delicate mechanisms, and the mangroves are particularly fragile. Mangroves rely on a multifaceted interface comprising of their land position, rainfall hydrology, sedimentation, subsidence, sea level, storms, pest-predator relationships and many other biogeochemical and environmental factors. Any one of these interactions becoming skewed or unsettled can lead to a rapid decline in the numbers of the mangroves in any environment.
A relatively simple example of this would be to project the effects of having a sudden decrease in the pH levels of the water and soil surrounding the mangroves. This could easily occur due to pollution and improper disposal of waste products. At lower pH levels (more acidic environments), the mangroves will begin to be poisoned. Aside from the obvious corrosive properties of having an acidic environment, elements such as manganese and aluminium can become available in toxic quantities. This can stunt the root growth of the mangroves and interfere with the plant’s uptake of vital nutrients. 1.1. pH Levels – Reasons for this are mentioned in the previous question. 1.2. Soil Fertility – If the soil does not have the necessary nutrients and resources necessary to maintain a healthy ecosystem, then there lies the problem 1.3. Salt levels in Water – An excess of salt in the water can cause the mangroves to lose excessive amounts of water, and dehydrate fairly quickly. This would lead to the unsustainability of plant life in the area, the mangroves in particular. 1.4. Average Wind Speeds – A high wind speed can hinder the growth and development of mangroves, as well as uproot them at particularly high velocities. Additionally, Mangrove seeds may be being carried by the wind for excessive distances, causing them to land in inappropriate environmental conditions, thus leading to a decline in the number of new mangroves.
1.5. Availability of Water – A large volume of water is particularly vital to the mangroves’ survival. A decrease in water from a drought, or general lack of rainfall can be devastating to the population, as fewer mangroves will be able to access the scarce levels of water.
1.6. Take multiple water and soil samples in a variety of areas in the ecosystem, particularly focusing in the areas where mangrove population is dense. 1.7. Take multiple soil samples in a variety of areas in the ecosystem, focusing primarily in areas with high mangrove populations.
1.8. Measure salt levels in a couple of areas around and within the ecosystem. Additionally, take measurements at different days and tides, as the salt level can be temporarily elevated or decreased by random environmental or human factors. 1.9. Take a measurement of the wind speed at several different times of the day over 1 | Page
several days or weeks to find the average.
1.10. Measure water levels multiple times a day over multiple weeks. Tides and other random factors can have sudden temporary effects. Make sure to take equal measurements at both high and low tides, otherwise the results will become skewed.
1.12. ppm of: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sulphur, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Manganese, Copper, Zinc, Boron, Molybdenum and Chlorine.
1.15. Meters above/below Sea Level
1.16. Over a period of 3-5 days, go the estuary once a day with several closed containers. Take one or two samples of the water, and then take several samples of soil from varying locations within the estuary. Return with these samples, and test them for pH levels. Make sure to indicate the location that each of the samples were taken from, in order to accurately assess the status of the pH levels in the estuary.
1.17. Over a period of 3-5 days, go the estuary once a day with several closed containers. Take several samples of soil from varying locations within the estuary. Test them for the percentage composition of; Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sulphur, Calcium,...
Bibliography: IUCN, 2010, "Mangrove Forests in Worldwide Decline"
Hong Yong, 2010, "The Loss of Species: Mangrove Extinction RIsk and Geographic
Areas of Global Concern"
Lee Reich, 2014, "Four Things You Need To Know About Soil pH"
Wikipedia, 2014, "Mangrove"
Marine Education Society of Australasia, 2014, "Animals of the Mangroves"
Prof. K. Kathiresan, 2014, "Threats to Mangroves"
P. Adam, 2014, "Case Study 17.1 Mangroves and Saltmarsh Communities"
Conservation International, 2010, "Mangrove Forests in Worldwide Decline"
Krauss, 2013, "Mangrove Expansion and Salt Marsh Decline at Mangrove Poleward
Please join StudyMode to read the full document