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Heritiera littoralis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA MALVALES STERCULIACEAE

Scientific Name: Heritiera littoralis
Species Authority: Aiton

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. It is threatened by the loss of mangrove habitat throughout its range, primarily due to extraction and coastal development, and there has been an estimated 20% decline in mangrove area within this species range since 1980. 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. Although there are overall range declines in many areas, they are not enough to reach any of the threatened category thresholds. This species is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: In south and southeast Asia, this species is found in Brunei Darussalam, southern China, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Viet Nam, and Cambodia. However, it is extinct in Bangladesh. In Australasia, it is found in Northeast Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Guam, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu. It occurs in East Africa, including Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Tanzania.
Countries:
Native:
Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; China; Christmas Island; Comoros; Fiji; Guam; India; Indonesia; Japan; Kenya; Madagascar; Malaysia; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; New Caledonia; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tonga; Vanuatu; Viet Nam
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This is a very widespread and common species. Although there is no species specific population information, it can be assumed that there are areas of population decline throughout its range due to coastal development.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is a large tree that is found in mid and landward mangroves. It can tolerate brackish conditions but avoids hypersaline environments. This species can form very impressive butress roots, and exist in groves but can also occur individually.
Systems: Terrestrial; Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is a high quality timber, and is also harvested as for food and medicine in some parts of its range.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Sea level rise is a major threat, especially to back mangroves that have no area in which to expand. Mangrove species with a habitat on the landward margin may be particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise if owing to coastal development their movement inland is blocked. 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.

Citation: Duke, N., Kathiresan, K., Salmo III, S.G., Fernando, E.S., Peras, J.R., Sukardjo, S. & Miyagi, T. 2010. Heritiera littoralis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 October 2014.
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