Mangroves and Associated Flora of Vashista and Vainateyam Estuaries, A.P. India
Keywords:mangrove, associated flora, Vashista, Vainateyam estuaries, Andhra Pradesh, India
Mangroves are highly productive ecosystems occurs intertidal regions only. Mangroves and associated flora occurring in two major estuaries of Godavari river (India) were studied using transect with 4x4 m2 quadrats and the quadrat samples were analyzed. Seasonal data were collected on environmental, hydrographical and chemical observations from three different stations of the two estuaries. Low values in Secchi depth, salinity and pH were reported during the monsoon season, while higher values were reported in pre-monsoon and post monsoon seasons. In the present study three mangrove species and nine associated species were reported. Transect studies in these two estuaries showed that mangrove and halophytes occurred up to 40 meters from water front region. In some places mangrove vegetation was in the form of long strips only. In Vainateyam estuary, the species with the highest density was Suaeda monoica whereas the species with lowest density was Avicennia officinalis. In Vashista estuary, maximum density was reported for Suaeda maritima and minimum density for Avicennia officinalis. The maximum height in these two stations varied from 5 to 8 meters only. Percentage frequencies of DBH (Density at Breast Height) classes were estimated. In the present study only two diameter classes were reported. This is indicative of the small and bushy mangrove vegetation in the region studied. Human interference, urban settlements and aqua industry play a critical impact on the survival of these tropical ecosystems. If management and conservation programmes are not undertaken, these ecosystems may be depleted.
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