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Rhizophora mucronata

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA RHIZOPHORALES RHIZOPHORACEAE

Scientific Name: Rhizophora mucronata
Species Authority: Lam.
Common Name(s):
English Mangrove

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-03-07
Assessor(s): Duke, N., Kathiresan, K., Salmo III, S.G., Fernando, E.S., Peras, J.R., Sukardjo, S. & Miyagi, T.
Reviewer(s): Polidoro, B.A., Livingstone, S.R. & Carpenter, K.E. (Global Marine Species Assessment Coordinating Team)
Justification:
This species is widespread and common within its range, and is the preferred species for mangrove restoration. Mangrove species are more at risk from coastal development and extraction at the extremes of their distribution, and are likely to be contracting in these areas more than in other areas. It is also likely that changes in climate due to global warming will further affect these parts of the range. There has been an estimated 20% decline in mangrove areas within it range due to habitat loss or extraction, but not enough to reach any of the threatened category thresholds. This species is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is very widespread. The South Asian range includes Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Taiwan, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and southern Viet Nam. The Australasian range includes Northeast Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. In East Africa and the Middle East it is present in Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Yemen, Oman, and United Arab Emirates. There are historical records from the Arabian Sea, although it has long been extirpated.
Countries:
Native:
Australia; Bangladesh; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; Comoros; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Japan; Kenya; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Mauritius; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Réunion; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; United Arab Emirates; Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Atlantic – southeast; Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is common in many parts of its range. For example, in India, this species was found in 45% of 100 sampling sites (Kathiresan 2008). This species is similar in morphology and genetics to R. stylosa, and only differs by the length of the style.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in the intermediate to upstream estuarine zone in the lower to mid-intertidal region, and more to the seaward side. This species tolerates a maximum salinity of 40 ppt and a salinity of optimal growth of 8-33 ppt. (Robertson and Alongi 1992). This is a hardy species that is easily propagated and is fast-growing. It can grow up to 35 m, and can grow to 6 m high within seven years on plantations (Sukardjo and Yamada 1992).

In the eastern portion of its range, this species tends to grow closer to freshwater influences while in the western portion of its range it tends to grow closer to the seaward side. More genetic work is needed to determine if this may represent different species.
Systems: Terrestrial; Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is a preferred fuelwood and is commercially exploited for charcoal in some parts of its range. It is a highly prized construction wood.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In South Andaman, 30-80% of Rhizophora spp. died due to continuous inundation after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in December 2004 (Roy and Krishnan 2005). Although local estimates are uncertain due to differing legislative definitions of what is a 'mangrove' and to the imprecision in determining mangrove area, current consensus estimates of mangrove loss in the last quarter-century report an approximately 20% decline in mangrove areas in countries within this species range since 1980 (FAO 2007).

All mangrove ecosystems occur within mean sea level and high tidal elevations, and have distinct species zonations that are controlled by the elevation of the substrate relative to mean sea level. This is because of associated variation in frequency of elevation, salinity and wave action (Duke et al. 1998). With rise in sea-level, the habitat requirements of each species will be disrupted, and species zones will suffer mortality at their present locations and re-establish at higher elevations in areas that were previously landward zones (Ellison 2005). If sea-level rise is a continued trend over this century, then there will be continued mortality and re-establishment of species zones. However, species that are easily dispersed and fast growing/fast producing will cope better than those which are slower growing and slower to reproduce.

In addition, mangrove area is declining globally due to a number of localized threats. The main threat is habitat destruction and removal of mangrove areas. Reasons for removal include cleared for shrimp farms, agriculture, fish ponds, rice production and salt pans, and for the development of urban and industrial areas, road construction, coconut plantations, ports, airports, and tourist resorts. Other threats include pollution from sewage effluents, solid wastes, siltation, oil, and agricultural and urban runoff. Climate change is also thought to be a threat, particularly at the edges of a species range. Natural threats include cyclones, hurricane and tsunamis.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no conservation measures specific to this species, but its range may include some marine and coastal protected areas. Continued monitoring and research is recommended, as well as the inclusion of mangrove areas in marine and coastal protected areas. This species is the most preferred species for mangrove restoration.

Citation: Duke, N., Kathiresan, K., Salmo III, S.G., Fernando, E.S., Peras, J.R., Sukardjo, S. & Miyagi, T. 2010. Rhizophora mucronata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 17 September 2014.
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