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Spatial distribution and dynamics of selected mangrove forests on the east and west coasts of Sri Lanka

Authors:

Wasana de Silva ,

University of Kelaniya 11600, LK
About Wasana
Department of Plant and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Science
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K.A. Roshan S. Perera,

The Open University of Sri Lanka, Nawala, Nugegoda 11222, LK
About K.A. Roshan S.
Department of Botany, Faculty of Science
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Mala D. Amarasinghe

University of Kelaniya 11600, LK
About Mala D.
Department of Plant and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Science
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Abstract

The climate and edaphic characteristics primarily determine the spatial distribution and dynamics of mangrove forests. The present study was initiated to determine how species composition and structural characteristics vary along with climate and substrate salinity of six mangrove forests located on the west coast, i.e., Negombo estuary, Chilaw lagoon, and Malwathu oya estuary, and east coast, i.e., Batticaloa lagoon, Uppar lagoon, and Urani lagoon. The structural parameters in terms of tree height, basal area, biomass, and density were obtained to determine the vegetation structure of mangrove forests. The current study found that although the structure of mangrove communities of the two coasts does not differ significantly (P<0.05), plant diversity in mangrove areas on the west coast is significantly higher than that of the east coast mangroves. In contrast, the biomass accumulation in west coast mangroves is relatively lower than that of east coast. Tree height was found to influence the productivity in terms of biomass increment of mangrove forests under investigation. As such, our study suggests that regional variations in salinity, temperature, and rainfall primarily serve as drivers of variation in mangrove species composition and vegetation structure of mangrove forests along the coasts of Sri Lanka.

How to Cite: Silva, W. de ., Perera, K.A.R.S. and Amarasinghe, M.D., 2022. Spatial distribution and dynamics of selected mangrove forests on the east and west coasts of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Aquatic Sciences, 27(2), pp.123–135. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljas.v27i2.7601
Published on 05 Oct 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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