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Have mangrove restoration projects worked? An in-depth study in Sri Lanka
Kodikara, K.A.S.; Mukherjee, N.; Jayatissa, L.P.; Dahdouh-Guebas, F.; Koedam, N. (2017). Have mangrove restoration projects worked? An in-depth study in Sri Lanka. Restor. Ecol. 25(5): 705-716. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/rec.12492
In: Restoration Ecology. Blackwell: Cambridge, Mass.. ISSN 1061-2971; e-ISSN 1526-100X, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
    Marine; Brackish water; Fresh water
Author keywords
    climate zones; field survey; Indian Ocean tsunami; level of survival;mangrove restoration; Sri Lanka

Authors  Top 
  • Kodikara, K.A.S., more
  • Mukherjee, N., more
  • Jayatissa, L.P.
  • Dahdouh-Guebas, F., more
  • Koedam, N., more

Abstract
    This study investigated the effectiveness of mangrove planting initiatives in Sri Lanka. All the lagoons and estuaries in Sri Lanka were included in the study. We documented all agencies and locations, involved in mangrove planting efforts, along with the major drivers of these planting initiatives, their extents, and the possible causes of the success or failure of planting. An adapted three-step framework and a field survey consisting of vegetation and soil surveys and questionnaires were used to evaluate the objectives. We found that about 1,000-1,200ha of mangroves, representing 23 project sites with 67 planting efforts, have been under restoration with the participation of several governmental and nongovernmental organizations. However, about 200-220ha showed successful mangrove restoration. Nine out of 23 project sites (i.e. 36/67 planting efforts) showed no surviving plants. The level of survival of the restoration project sites ranged from 0 to 78% and only three sites, that is, Kalpitiya, Pambala, and Negombo, showed a level of survival higher than 50%. Survival rates were significantly correlated with post-care. Planting mangrove seedlings at the incorrect topography often entails inappropriate soil conditions for mangroves. Survival rates showed significant correlations with a range of soil parameters except soil pH. Disturbance and stress caused by cattle trampling, browsing, algal accumulation, and insect attacks, factors that may themselves relate to choosing sites with inappropriate topography and hydrology, were common to most sites. The findings are a stark illustration of the frequent mismatch between the purported aims of restoration initiatives and the realities on the ground.

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