Mangrove linkages to coral reef and seagrass ecosystem services in Mombasa and Takaungu, Kenya - Participatory Modelling Frameworks to Understand Wellbeing Trade-offs in Coastal Ecosystem Services: Mangrove sub-component

Abstract

The main objective of this work was to document mangroves linkages to coral reef/seagrass ecosystem services between Mombasa and Takaungu, Kenya especially in supporting fisheries productivity. According to the most recent estimates, mangroves globally cover about 15.2 million ha straddling coastlines in 123 tropical and subtropical countries. Of these, about 1 million ha are in the Western Indian Ocean region with Kenya having about 54,000 ha. Mangroves are among some of the most productive and biologically important ecosystems of the world because they provide important and unique ecosystem goods and services to humanity and coastal and marine systems. Many coastal communities depend on mangrove wood products for timber, poles and fuel-wood. The forests help stabilize shorelines and reduce the devastating impact of natural disasters such as tsunamis and hurricanes. In the context of climate change, mangroves, could sequester approximately 22.8 million metric tons of carbon each year. Covering only 0.1% of the earth’s continental surface, the forests account for 11% of the total input of terrestrial carbon into the ocean and 10% of the terrestrial dissolved organic carbon (DOC) exported to the ocean. The forests act as a sink of pollutants, trap sediments and strip land based nutrients which could otherwise threaten adjacent ecosystems (e.g. seagrasses and coral reefs). The role of mangroves in supporting fisheries productivity although not clearly understood is widely appreciated. The overlap of fish species between coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves indicate strong linkages between the three ecosystems, with the greatest diversity being associated with coral reefs. It has also been observed that mangroves strongly influenced the community structure of fish on neighbouring coral reefs. In addition, the biomass of several commercially important species more than doubled when adult habitat was connected to mangroves demonstrating the strong functional linkage between tropical coastal ecosystems. Sustainable management of mangroves will require an ecosystem based management (EBM) approach which links mangroves with seagrass, coral reefs and upstream contiguous ecosystems. Instead of managing mangroves as single-use resource, they should be managed as multiple-use resources for fisheries, coastal protection, carbon sequestration and the traditional provision of wood products.

Citation

Bosire, J.O.; Okemwa, G.; Ochiewo, J. Mangrove linkages to coral reef and seagrass ecosystem services in Mombasa and Takaungu, Kenya - Participatory Modelling Frameworks to Understand Wellbeing Trade-offs in Coastal Ecosystem Services: Mangrove sub-component. ESPA, (2012) 45 pp.

Mangrove linkages to coral reef and seagrass ecosystem services in Mombasa and Takaungu, Kenya - Participatory Modelling Frameworks to Understand Wellbeing Trade-offs in Coastal Ecosystem Services: Mangrove sub-component

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