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Current Status of Mangrove Forests in the Trans-boundary Sundarbans

  • R. N. MandalEmail author
  • Peter Saenger
  • Chandan Surabhi Das
  • Abdul Aziz
Chapter
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 30)

Abstract

Sundarbans is the largest single block of mangroves forest in the globe, stretching over both India and Bangladesh. The entire land mass is situated in the estuary of Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) river systems that carry the world’s largest sediment load to the Bay of Bengal. The present article reviews the environmental characteristics and biological diversities of the Sundarbans in general and the present status of mangroves in particular. Environmental factors such as hydrology, topography, texture of substrata, salinity and their interactions cause to develop a wide heterogeneity in the mangrove ecosystems that support to nurture a great biodiversity. Mangrove diversity comprises a total of 45 species and 21 species more considered as under-canopy vegetation. All these intertidal flora have made the Sundarbans a unique habitat in which a diverse range of biota, including flora, fauna and microorganisms have been part of this ecosystem that renders staggering services to coastal inhabitants, which have been enumerated. Thus, the values of mangroves are classified in view of a wide range of benefits harnessed out of ecosystem services. The spatio-temporal changes highlight the rate of degradation or loss of forests in last two decades. The tropic pathways of mangrove ecosystem exhibit how leaf litter enriches the productivity of the Sundarbans forests. In this perspective, the present article suggests that the joint efforts are required from both India and Bangladesh to protect and preserve such incredible natural resources.

Keywords

Sundarbans Mangroves Diversity Environment Ecosystem Spatio-temporal changes  

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. N. Mandal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peter Saenger
    • 2
  • Chandan Surabhi Das
    • 3
  • Abdul Aziz
    • 4
  1. 1.Regional Research Centre, ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater AquacultureKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Centre for Coastal Management, Southern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia
  3. 3.Department of GeographyBarasat Govt. CollegeBarasatIndia
  4. 4.Department of BotanyUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh

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