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Ecology Article


Raja Novi Ariska 8136173013

Lecturer : Syarifuddin, M. Sc., Ph. D.



I. INTRODUCTION The word of mangroves comes from the world Mangue/mangal (Portuguese) means sea plant and Grove (English) means as the shrubs. Mangrove forests constitute the majority of coastal vegetation communities in the tropics and sub-tropics are dominated by mangroves on coastal muddy intertidal areas, especially in places where there is siltation and accumulation of organic matter. Generally mangrove root system has a protruding root called pneumatophore. The root system is a way of adaptation to oxygen-poor soil conditions or even anaerobic. Mangrove forests are very different from the other plants in tropical and subtropical forests inland. The root of mangrove can tolerate extreme conditions such as high salinity. Thus its leave has a special mechanism to excrete the dissolve salt in water they absorb. There are many benefits derived from the Mangrove forest. Physically,

mangrove forests and useful functions as retaining abrasion, intrusion barrier (permeation) of sea water, reduce the content of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) in the air, and pollutants in coastal swamp waters. In Biology, mangrove play the role as a place to live (shelter, feeding, spawning and nursery) marine life such as fish and shrimp, sources of organic matter as a source of the first consumer feed, living places a variety of wildlife, such as monkeys, estuarine crocodiles, lizards and birds. There are the differences of mangrove species distributions across the intertidal zone often lead to distinct zonation patterns. It may cause by the distribution of the propagule, geomorphological factors, and kinds of substrate. In this article the writer will discuss about the zonation of mangrove and the factors cause the differences in Mangrove zonation.

II. DISCUSSION a. Zonation of Mangrove Mangroves species generally grow in its distinct zones inside the Mangrove forest. The zonation forms because each species requires specific conditions to grow. The reason may cause by some mangrove species require more water than others, some are more tolerant to salinity than others, and the tidal period of their habitat (inundation frequency). The table below shows the effect of tides and inundation frequency to mangrove zonation.

Table 1. Mangrove zonation based on tides and Inundation frequency (Watson, 1928) Mangrove Class 1 2 3 4 5 All water level tides Moderate tides Normal tides Great tides Equinoctial tides 2.44 3.35 3.96 4.57 15 Inundated by Height in meters Inundation Frequency (monthly) 56-62 45-59 20-45 2-20 2

The explanation of the class is presented on the sentences below: Class 1 : Mangrove in this class are inundated by water. Dominant species that grow here are Rhizophora mucronata, R. stylosa and R. apiculata. R. mucronata growing more at the area with enough supply of fresh water. In Eastern Indonesia, Avicennia spp. and Sonneratia spp. dominate this zone. Class 2 : Mangrove at this level was inundated by water with medium tides. The main species grown are Avicennia alba, A. marina, Sonneratia alba, and R. mucronata. Class 3 : Mangrove in this area are inundated by normal tides. Most of species able to grow in this are causing this area has high level of

biodiversity. The most common species is Rhizophora spp. (dominant), Ceriops tagal, Xylocarpus granatum, Lumnitzera littorea, and Exoecaria agallocha. Class 4 : Inundation occurs only when the high tide do . Species that can generally be grown here is Brugueira spp., Xylocarpus spp., Lumnitzera littorea, and Exoecaria agallocha. Rhizophora spp. rarely found in this area because the land too dry to grow. Class 5 : Inundation occurs only when the great tide appears. The main species in this zone are Brugeira gymnorrhiza (dominant), Instia bijuga, Nypa fruticans, Herritera littoralis, Exoecaria agallocha and Aegiceras spp.

b. Factor Affects the Zonation of Mangroves At the present time, there is a lively debate among scientists about the factors cause zonation in mangrove forests. It is hard to see what the dominant factors are causing the difference pattern of mangrove distribution between one region to other region since the mangrove forest is a complex structure. The salinity, mud substrate, inundation, tides effects may play an important role in the zonation of mangroves. The hypotheses below will give some review about the factors that contributes in the zonation of mangroves. 1. Land building and plant succession. The zonation of mangroves may represent as a succession of pioneer plants that grow in the lowest intertidal zone trap sediments. Over time, the sediment builds up and forms the land. This process continues until the land is no longer intertidal. In Watsons view, frequency of tidal inundation, salinity, and soil type were the important determinants of mangrove zonation.

2. Geomorphological influences. Geomorphological also affect the mangroves distribution in a region. Studies by Thom has reveals that mangrove vegetation is dependent on the dynamics

of sediment topography, which in fact the tides plays a role as the main factors causing the zonation of mangroves. During periods of rapid sea-level rise, the size and extent of mangrove forests decrease. As the conclusion, mangrove zonation is based on adaptations of individual species to the intertidal environment.

3. Physio-chemical gradients and zonation. Other factors that vary across the intertidal zone include nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, oxidation-reduction potential, and soil texture. Salinity is one of the most investigated gradients in mangrove distribution ecology. Mangroves, however, are not obligate halophytes. They are fully capable of growing in freshwater. Propagules are capable of survival, but with less than optimal growth, over a broad salinity range (0-100% depending on species).

4. Propagule dispersal and zonation. Tidal action has an effect to propagules distribution. The mangroves were distributed from low to high intertidal in a manner inversely related to the size of their propagules. Avicennia germinans and L. racemosa were restricted to high intertidal zones because they had small propagules that high tides would carry the farthest inland following the water stream. Therefore, this typical of seeds easily reaching the new places. If the environment condition is appropriate for seed to grow, they will easily grow. These kinds of species are known as pioneer plants in mangrove forest. Large propagules, such as those of R. mangle and P. rhizophorae, would become snagged and not get carried into higher intertidal areas. Thus, tidal action sorted the propagules across the intertidal inversely according to their size, which resulted in species zonation. The table below show the size of propagules which may affects its distribution (dispersal).

Tabel 2. Mangrove propagule and its months of fruiting, Ripening sign and size of the propagules Species Avicennia marina Brugeira gymnorrhiza Ceriops tagal Seed types Propagule Months D, J, F Ripening sign Yellow Seed coat Brownreddish fruit Green or yellowish fruit, yellow stalk Reddish stalk Size of ripening fruit Weight > 30 g


M, J, J, A, S, O, N, D A, S

Length > 20 cm Length > 20 cm


Rhizophora apiculata Rhizophora mucronata Sonneratia alba Xylocarpus granatum


D, J, M, A


S, O, N, D

Reddish stalk, brown fruit Float on water

Length > 20 cm, diameter >14 mm Length > 50 cm Diameter > 4 cm


A, M, J, S, O


Brown/yellow Weight of fruit, Float on seed in fruit > water 30g (Source : Nursery Manual for Mangrove Species Bali, 1998)

S, O, N

5. Propagule predation and forest structure. Predation on seeds has been recognized as an important process in a variety of ecosystems. Watson (1928) commented on the role of crabs as consumers of mangrove propagules. The crabs to which referred to the family Grapsidae mostly found especially in the Indo-Pacific region. Consumption of mangrove propagules by grapsid crabs greatly affects natural regeneration and influences the distribution of certain species across the intertidal zone.


Mangrove forests constitute the majority of coastal vegetation communities in the tropics and sub-tropics are dominated by mangroves on coastal muddy intertidal areas. The possibility of different zonation may occurs because of its adaptability to environment. There are some factors that cause the zonation of mangroves, namely the land building and plant succession. In this aspect, the pioneer plants has a crucial role in traping sediment and forming the land until the sediment no longer intertidal. The second hypothesis reveal that mangrove zonation is based on adaptations of individual species to the intertidal environment, when high tide frequency is rise, the number of plants decrease. Thus the nutrient such as nitrogen and phosphor also the salinity impact the zonation of mangroves. The propagule distribution is may affect based its size, where the A. marina has the smaller size, it is possible for this species far away from its origin place to the intertidal zone. The predators of propagule also determine the zonation of mangrove. The Grapsid crab is identified consumed the mangrove propagules, especially in Avicennia species

REFERENCES Hachinhoe, Hideki et. Al., Manual Persemaian Mangrove, di Bali. Departemen Kehutanan dan Perkebunan RI & Japan International Cooperation Agency (1998) Mangrove Action Project. 2005. 5 tahap rehabilitasi mangrove, Petunjuk Teknis Rehabilitasi Hidrologi Mangrove. Thom, B. G. 1967. Mangrove ecology and deltaic geomorphology: Tabasco, Mexico. Journal of Ecology 55: 30 1-343. Smith, Thomas J. 2005. Mangrove forest structure : A Manual for field course. Article. Smithsonian Institution