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Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 243–255 | Cite as

Mangrove forests in a peri-urban setting: the case of Mombasa (Kenya)

  • Mohamed Omar Said Mohamed
  • Griet Neukermans
  • James Gitundu Kairo
  • Farid Dahdouh-Guebas
  • Nico Koedam
Original Paper

Abstract

The structure and regeneration patterns of the peri-urban mangrove vegetation of Mombasa at Tudor creek were studied along belt transects at two forest sites of Kombeni and Tsalu. Based on the species importance values, the dominant mangrove species were Rhizophora mucronata Lam. (Rhizophoraceae) and Avicennia marina (Forssk.) Vierh. (Avicenniaceae). Lumnitzera racemosa Willd., reported in an earlier floristic survey, was not encountered. Tree density varied from 1,264 trees ha–1 at Kombeni to 1,301 trees ha–1 at Tsalu and mean tree height was higher at the former site compared to the latter. The size-class structure at both localities showed the numerical dominance of small trees over larger trees. The spatial distribution pattern of adults and juveniles varied greatly between sites and showed a close to uniform pattern (Morisita’s Index I δ ≪ 1) for adult trees, but a tendency to clustered distribution (I δ ≫ 1) for juveniles. The present paper shows that unmanaged but exploited peri-urban mangroves are structurally stressed, having enlarged canopy gaps that are characterised by spatial and temporal site heterogeneity that influences regeneration, implying longer periods for canopy closure. Diversifying uses of mangrove products and establishing reserves as no cut zones with regulated harvesting will minimise canopy gap sizes, and promote conservation practices. The proposed management strategy shall boost the ecosystem resilience to both anthropogenic and natural stressors expected in the peri-urban setting in the long run.

Keywords

Anthropogenic Canopy gaps Peri-urban Regeneration 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We express our appreciation to the local communities for their support in the sampling campaigns, and colleagues at KMFRI and KWS Coast Region Research station. The work described in this paper was supported by a PhD. Scholarship from the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR) in Belgium and the EU funded PUMPSEA project (FP6-INCO contract no. 510863).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamed Omar Said Mohamed
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Griet Neukermans
    • 1
  • James Gitundu Kairo
    • 3
  • Farid Dahdouh-Guebas
    • 1
    • 4
  • Nico Koedam
    • 1
  1. 1.Biocomplexity Research Focus, Laboratory of Plant Biology and Nature Management, Mangrove Management GroupVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Kenya Wildlife ServiceMombasa Field Research StationMombasaKenya
  3. 3.Kenyan Marine and Fisheries Research InstituteMombasaKenya
  4. 4.Département de Biologie des OrganismesUniversité Libre de Bruxelles – ULBBrusselsBelgium

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