Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 217–234 | Cite as

Structural complexity and tree species composition of mangrove forests of the Andaman Islands, India

  • R. Kiruba-Sankar
  • P. Krishnan
  • S. Dam Roy
  • J. Raymond Jani Angel
  • M. P. Goutham-Bharathi
  • K. Lohith Kumar
  • P. Ragavan
  • M. Kaliyamoorthy
  • R. Muruganandam
  • S. Rajakumari
  • R. Purvaja
  • R. Ramesh
Article

Abstract

This study reports the mapping, structural characteristics and distribution of mangrove species of the Andaman Islands. 79 mangrove patches were identified using Thiessen polygons of which, 53 accessible patches were surveyed during 2014–2015. Multiple linear transects were laid at each of the mangrove patches and data pertaining to diameter at breast height, basal area and height were recorded for all mangrove trees within a 10 × 10 m quadrat laid along the transects at 50 m intervals. Altogether, 178 quadrats were laid and 25 mangrove species representing 11 families and 14 genera were recorded. Of the 3073 mangrove plants enumerated in the present study, 96.06% were composed of trees (>4 m height), 1.99% of saplings (>1 m to ≤4 m height) and 1.95% of seedlings (≤1 m height). The number of species per quadrat ranged from 1 to 9 and majority of the quadrats had 2–3 species. Density and basal area of mangrove trees ranged from 1252 ha−1 to 2200 ha−1 and 30.8 m2/ha to 59.6 m2/ha, respectively. High diversity indices (Shannon-Wiener index ranged from 1.65 to 2.24; Simpson index from 0.74 to 0.85 and Pielou’s evenness index from 0.66 to 0.84) indicated greater diversity and even dispersion of mangroves in the Islands. The study also revealed that the mangrove forests of Andaman Islands were characterized by a mixed species composition. Most of the sites were represented by different combinations of dominant and co-dominant species, all from the family Rhizophoraceae. The present study highlights the need for conserving the mixed species mangrove forests of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and development of location-specific management plans for biodiversity conservation.

Keywords

Andaman Islands Biodiversity Conservation Mangroves Marine angiosperms 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The study was undertaken by ICAR-CIARI, Port Blair under the project entitled, “Determination of the Conservation Value of Mangroves of the Andaman”, which is a sub-component of the National Research Project, “Delineation of ecologically sensitive areas (ESA) and critically vulnerable coastal areas (CVCA) along the coast of India” sanctioned to NCSCM, Chennai by Society for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (SICOM), under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India. The authors thank Liju Thomas, Ganesh Basumatary, Aluri Swapna and Yuvraj for their immense help rendered in field data collection. The authors would also like to thank Dr. J. Joyson Joe Jeevamani and Dr. Yambem Tenjing Singh, Research Associates, NCSCM for their assistance in data analysis and Dr. R. Soundararajan, Senior Scientific Consultant, NCSCM for critically reviewing the manuscript.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Kiruba-Sankar
    • 1
  • P. Krishnan
    • 2
  • S. Dam Roy
    • 1
  • J. Raymond Jani Angel
    • 1
  • M. P. Goutham-Bharathi
    • 1
  • K. Lohith Kumar
    • 1
  • P. Ragavan
    • 1
  • M. Kaliyamoorthy
    • 1
  • R. Muruganandam
    • 2
  • S. Rajakumari
    • 2
  • R. Purvaja
    • 2
  • R. Ramesh
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Fisheries ScienceICAR - Central Island Agricultural Research InstitutePort BlairIndia
  2. 2.National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate ChangeAnna University CampusChennaiIndia

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