This is largely due to land clearance for agriculture and fish farming, major coastal development, rapid urbanisation, and pollution.,,,, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Tsunami Mitigation by Mangroves and Coastal Forests, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): Tsunami, Yale Environment 360: A Decade After Asian Tsunami, New Forests Protect the Coast, Additional credits and copyright information. Mangroves have adapted to their intertidal environments and are able to withstand furious high-energy tidal events. It will also depend on how the financial and practical aspects of planting and replanting are addressed, and how local communities are involved. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners. Replanting damaged areas will depend on the nature of damage caused, the geography, and extent of infrastructure development in the area. For example, studies analyzing the effects of tsunamis on shoreline areas have determined that mangroves suffering from various types of ecological degradation were less resistant than unaltered pristine mangroves. Some researchers who are skeptical about the ability of mangroves to protect against tsunamis have noted that mangroves might be more capable of protecting against tropical storm surges (6, 10). Mangroves represent far more than just a ‘bio-shield’. The ‘mangrove status’ is a combination of pre-tsunami aerial extent of the front mangrove and pre-tsunami mangrove destruction (see text). Many millions of dollars have been invested in replanting efforts in several of the more than 100 countries with mangroves – as this value has become more widely recognised, and with the effects of storms such as Haiyan. This is a short but very explicit video showing how mangroves protect us from tsunamis. AccessScience Editors, DOI:, Mangrove forests are taxonomically diverse assemblages of trees and shrubs that form the dominant plant communities in tidal, saline wetlands along sheltered tropical and subtropical coasts. It adds to a growing debate on using mangroves as bioshields in coastal areas. Additional credits and copyright information. They protect the coasts against storm surges and tsunamis. The study also found that beach forest trees that had been planted to protect against typhoons (as hurricanes are called in the region) helped protect land. Copyright © 2010–2020, The Conversation US, Inc. “They are very important for protecting coastal areas, because they can absorb wave energy,” he says. If the long-term sustainability of any replanting investment is to be assured, then it is vital to understand how the mangroves will be used once the short-term cash to communities for assisting replanting is gone, so that the new forests are not exploited unsustainably. The finding follows a report published earlier this year (January) which said that mangroves were not effective against tsunamis (see Mangroves do not protect against tsunamis). Reports suggest up to 80% of the money is likely to be channelled to residents to engage them in tree planting activities as part of the country’s cash-for-work programme. New Scientist: Following the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, several studies examined satellite data to determine the ability of mangrove forests to protect communities from the destructive effects of such seismic sea waves.One study found an 8% reduction in fatalities in villages protected by mangrove forests. The formal institutions and governance structures that many of the current restoration and replanting efforts operate through ignore these. Lindsay Stringer receives funding from the Economic and Social Research Council through the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP). To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible. Professor in Environment and Development, Director, Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds. At the interface between the ocean and earth, mangroves play a fundamental role in reducing monsoon flooding. P. Nehru and P. Balasubramanian, Re-colonizing mangrove species in tsunami devastated habitats at Nicobar Islands, India. Researchers in the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean found a remarkable situation: In areas that had pristine mangrove forests, only 7% of the villages hit by the tsunami were severely damaged; in contrast, in areas with mangrove degradation or elimination (chiefly as the result of development by tourist industries or aquaculture companies), the devastation of villages reached 80–100%. D. E. Marois and W. J. Mitsch, Coastal protection from tsunamis and cyclones provided by mangrove wetlands—a review. Exhibition Video Shows How Mangroves Can Protect Coastal Areas From Tsunami The depleting mangroves around the world have caused major environmental concern since they work as a carbon sink and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. M. Maza, J. L. Lara, and I. J. Losada, Tsunami wave interaction with mangrove forests: A 3-D numerical approach. For example, certain mangrove species can block or buffer wave action via their stems and aerial roots, which can measure 30 m (98 ft) in height. Mangrove trees' thickets of stilt-like roots protect coastal land from erosion and help mitigate the damage of tsunamis and hurricanes.They may also serve as a … But more importantly in this case is their role in coastal protection – something that will grow in importance if storms the magnitude of Haiyan become more frequent with the effects of climate change. The finding follows a report published earlier this year (January) which said that mangroves were not effective against tsunamis (see Mangroves do not protect against tsunamis). One study was conducted in the aftermath of the massive 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that devastated huge areas in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India, as well as killing more than 230,000 people. Effectiveness of mangrove forests to protect . Mangrove forests, common along tropical coasts, can provide a protective shield against destructive cyclones and reduce deaths, a study has found. ing tsunami events. Steven Orchard receives funding through an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) scholarship. The global economic value that can be extracted from mangrove forests is estimated by the UNEP at US$1.6 billion per year. Thus, they could help dissipate tsunamis, reducing their devastation. A study found villages … fringes (sites 17, 18 and 21). Mangroves provide essential habitat and coastline protection but are under threat. Efforts to plant and replant more mangroves, such as those planned in the Philippines, are laudable. Such floods typically have devastating impacts on both land and human-made structures. MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology, 115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 3000 biographies of notable scientific figures, MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics, ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists, SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research, LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information. Similar considerations apply in devising ways to protect the remaining mangrove areas, already drastically reduced by more than a third of their global extent. Privacy Notice. against tsunami during 2004. Other investigations of smaller tsunami events since 2004 have reached similar conclusions. The tsunami had only a small impact on lagoons that show no cryptic ecological degradation (sites 2, 3, 23 and 24) or that are protected by the distance from the shore and by frontal Rhizophora spp. Mangroves have a complex root system that efficiently dissipates seawave energy protecting the coastal areas from tsunamis, storm surge, and soil erosion. The dense tree root system keeps the sediment carried from the soil above from pouring into the ocean all at once, which stabilizes the banks, protects the corals from choking, reduces turbidity, and filters and traps pollutants. high water events (storms, tsunamis). Mangrove ecosystems provide essential benefits and services for food security, maintaining fisheries and forest products, and protecting against storms, tsunamis, and rising sea levels, to preventing coastal erosion, regulating coastal water quality, and the provision of habitats for endangered marine species. Any use is subject to the Terms of Use. Why trees and not, say, concrete? The loss of these ecosystems can contribute to global warming. Storm surges differ from tsunamis in having shorter wavelengths and relatively more of their energy near the water surface ( 9 ). Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Some groups (often the poor and those with limited livelihood options) are more dependent on certain areas of the mangrove forests, and planting replacement mangroves elsewhere could change or remove how they can access those essential forest benefits. An estimated 26 percent of mangroves have been destroyed around the Indian Ocean through conversion to farm fields, aquaculture ponds, or from other causes, exposing the coast to accelerated erosion. 1) Mangroves protect coastlines from tsunamis In 2004, an earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a catastrophic tsunami that battered shorelines across India and Southeast Asia. One study was conducted in the aftermath of the massive 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that devastated huge areas in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India, as … Mangrove forests t hrive in the intertidal zones o f tropical . My question is: Why are we destroying them? To protect Indian nuclear reactors from the fury of tsunamis of the kind that has hit Japan, eminent agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan has suggested that the government promote the growth of mangroves and similar other 'bio-shields' along the coast adjoining the atomic energy installations. P. S. Kumar, Does mangrove serve as bioshield against strong cyclone, storm and tsunami?. You may already have access to this content. All rights reserved. One of the most important functions is to provide a barrier or buffer between the land and the sea, with mangroves protecting landward coastal zones against potentially devastating ocean events, including tsunamis. / The extent to which mangroves reduce the damage caused by typhoons (as well as tsunami) is still debated, but the evidence suggests that mangroves provide an … It’s important to develop a clear picture of who, what for, and how the mangroves are used and governed, as a pre-requisite to large-scale planting. In places like this stretch of Ecuadorian coast near the city of Guayaquil, losing the mangroves would portend the loss of the mud crabs—the primary source of income for some local fishing communities—and have a severe impact on surrounding ecosystems as well. The struggle to save mangroves like these in Ecuador is a global challenge that no single government or organization can … Reforesting these coasts with 19m trees, particularly the extensively damaged islands of Leyte and Samar, is a key part of bolstering the first line of defence against future storms. Supercyclone Amphan is the first tropical cyclone to have hit the Indian Coast this summer. Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information. Coastal mangroves and green belts offer little or no protection against the deadly might of a tsunami. Mangroves grow in partially flooded sediments along thousands of kilometers of the world’s tropical coastlines. They have several ecological and physical functions that are essential in maintaining biodiversity and protecting populations of humans and animals. The communities use various formal and informal rules and practices to govern and manage the mangroves. Mangrove forests grow along the coast in fine, salty sediments across the tropics and sub-tropics. Following typhoon Haiyan, the Philippines’ Department for Environment and Natural Resources has earmarked around US$8m to fund efforts to replant much of the affected coastal zone with mangrove forests. Coral reefs provide a physical barrier that reaches the sea surface, causing waves to break offshore and allowing them to dissipate most of their destructive energy before reaching the shore, while mangroves soak up destructive wave energy and acts as a buffer against erosion. Accessibility policy. See also: Coastal engineering; Conservation of resources; Indian Ocean; Sumatra-Andaman earthquake.