Prabakaran, Nehru, Bayyana, Sharad, Vetter, Kai and Reuter, Hauke ORCID: (2021) Mangrove recovery in the Nicobar archipelago after the 2004 tsunami and coastal subsidence. Regional Environmental Change, 21 (3). DOI

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The ecological and economic importance of mangroves is highly recognized in Asia, especially after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The Nicobar archipelago that sustained greater damage due to the 2004 tsunami and subsidence provides a unique case to the tsunami-related mangrove literature. We analyzed the trends in mangrove vegetation recovery from two severely impacted sites (one each with and without remnant vegetation) in the Nicobar archipelago using vegetation data collected during two field seasons (2010–2011 and 2019) and long-term satellite remote sensing data (2004 – 2019). We found that the recovery rates in terms of stem density and vegetation cover were much higher in the site with remnant vegetation compared to the site without remnant vegetation. Especially, the vegetation recovery rates were higher in the landward mangrove zone compared to the seaward mangrove zone. The species composition especially in the landward zones has changed drastically during the study period. Rhizophora mucronata dominated the seaward zone of both the sites, while Lumitzera racemosa, L. littorea, Bruguiera gymnorhiza, and Sonneratia alba dominated the landward zones. The geomorphology of study sites seems to play a critical role in the landward transgression process of mangroves. Long-term ecological monitoring in the study sites inclusive of mangrove fauna and soil processes can greatly enhance the knowledge on mangrove recovery fol-lowing this unique natural disturbance. Moreover, such an approach can provide much-needed insights for the management and restoration of the ecologically and economically important mangrove ecosystems.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: PA4
Research affiliation: Integrated Modelling > Spatial Ecology and Interactions
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.:
ISSN: 1436-378X
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2021 16:40
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2021 12:51

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