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Is Matang Mangrove forest in Malaysia sustainably rejuvenating after more than a century of conservation and harvesting management?
Goessens, A.; Satyanarayana, B.; Van der Stocken, T.; Quispe Zuniga, M.; Mohd-Lokman, H; Sulong, I; Dahdouh-Guebas, F. (2014). Is Matang Mangrove forest in Malaysia sustainably rejuvenating after more than a century of conservation and harvesting management? PLoS One 9(8): -. dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0105069
In: PLoS One. Public Library of Science: San Francisco. ISSN 1932-6203, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Excoecaria [WoRMS]; Rhizophora apiculata Bl. [WoRMS]; Marine; Brackish water

Authors  Top 
  • Goessens, A., more
  • Satyanarayana, B., more
  • Van der Stocken, T., more
  • Quispe Zuniga, M., more
  • Mohd-Lokman, H
  • Sulong, I
  • Dahdouh-Guebas, F., more

Abstract
    Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve (MMFR) in Peninsular Malaysia is under systematic management since 1902 and still considered as the best managed mangrove forest in the world. The present study on silvimetrics assessed the ongoing MMFR forest management, which includes a first thinning after 15 years, a second thinning after 20 years and clear-felling of 30-year old forest blocks, for its efficiency and productivity in comparison to natural mangroves. The estimated tree structural parameters (e.g. density, frequency) from three different-aged mangrove blocks of fifteen (MF15), twenty (MF20), and thirty (MF30) years old indicated that Bruguiera and Excoecaria spp. did not constitute a significant proportion of the vegetation (<5%), and hence the results focused majorly on Rhizophora apiculata. The density of R. apiculata at MF15, MF20 and MF30 was 4,331, 2,753 and 1,767 stems ha-1, respectively. In relation to ongoing practices of the artificial thinnings at MMFR, the present study suggests that the first thinning could be made earlier to limit the loss of exploitable wood due to natural thinning. In fact, the initial density at MF15 was expected to drop down from 6,726 to 1,858 trees ha-1 before the first thinning. Therefore the trees likely to qualify for natural thinning, though having a smaller stem diameter, should be exploited for domestic/commercial purposes at an earlier stage. The clear-felling block (MF30) with a maximum stem diameter of 30 cm was estimated to yield 372 t ha-1 of the above-ground biomass and suggests that the mangrove management based on a 30-year rotation is appropriate for the MMFR. Since Matang is the only iconic site that practicing sustainable wood production, it could be an exemplary to other mangrove locations for their improved management.

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