- Mangroves are salt-tolerant plants.
- They are present in tropical and subtropical inter-tidal regions of the world.
- The specific regions where these plants occur are termed as ‘mangrove ecosystem’.
- They are highly productive but extremely sensitive and fragile.
Threats to the Mangroves
- The threats to the mangrove ecosystem could be broadly grouped into two:
- Natural threats : Climatic changes, Cyclones and Physical processes.
- Anthropogenic threats : Diseases, deterioration, pollution, grazing, agriculture, aquaculture and human encroachment(including reclamation), etc.
Reasons for the loss of Mangroves
The main reasons which contribute to the phenomenon of losing land including mangroves forests in the Sunderbans are:-
- Climate Change
- Sea level rise leads to:
- Coastal erosion
- Coastal flooding
- Increase in the number of tidal creeks
- Less fresh water flow and sediment supply, leads to the loss of land.
- The continuation of loss of mangrove cover in response to climate change and sea level rise poses a serious threat. Such as:-
- Ecosystem of the Indian Sunderbans is getting fragile.
- Many other ecosystem services are getting affected.
- Carbon sequestration potential is decreasing.
- Due to lack of freshwater inflow change in mangrove successions is taking place.
- Freshwater loving species of mangroves are replaced by salt-water loving ones.
- Fishing community is getting affected.
- The Sundarbans delta is the largest mangrove forest in the world.
- The Sundarban Delta is situated on the border of India and Bangladesh, where the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Mehgna rivers converge in the Bengal basin.
- The area itself gets its name from the large number of Sundari (Heritiera fomes) trees in the region.
- It is also home to the Royal Bengal Tiger.