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Does mangrove plantation reduce coastal erosion? Assessment from the west coast of India

A Correction to this article was published on 03 August 2020

This article has been updated

Abstract

Mangroves are believed to stabilize the coastlines by controlling erosion and facilitating sediment deposition. Coastal managers often plant mangroves to counter coastal erosion. The state of Gujarat in West India has planted thousands of hectares of mangroves over the years, and control of coastal erosion has been one of the prime reasons of plantation. This study performed a statistical assessment of the effect of the planted mangroves on the coastline changes in the state from 1990 to 2013. The study utilized geographic information system and remote sensing data to demarcate the areas under erosion and accretion during this period, and then compared these changes with the change in mangrove cover using statistical models. This cross-sectional analysis was conducted at the level of a tehsil, an administrative unit below a district. The results show that mangrove plantation did not decrease erosion, not even after normalizing the coastline changes by the length of the coastline and using controls for physical and anthropogenic features of the tehsils. Tehsils with increased mangrove cover witnessed both increased erosion and accretion, although the latter was much higher. The geophysical features of the area appeared to be the main determinants of coastline changes in Gujarat.

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Change history

  • 03 August 2020

    Our recently published paper contained errors in tables 2 and 3. Corrected tables are provided here.

    The original article has been corrected.

Notes

  1. For a detailed discussion on the role of coastal forest on coastline erosion, see http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/ag127e/AG127E09.htm, accessed on 16 March 2020.

  2. Convention on Biological Diversity, The Ecosystem Approach (UNEP/CBD/COP/5/23 Decision V/6, Nairobi, Kenya, 2000).

  3. Tehsils are administrative divisions in India in between district and gram panchayats. The administrative units are (from bottom to top) villages, gram panchayats, tehsil, and districts.

  4. The tehsil map of Gujarat can be seen at http://www.mapsofindia.com/maps/gujarat/tehsil, accessed on 12 December 2019.

  5. Collecting data at the village level or for more points of time was beyond the budget of this study.

  6. https://incois.gov.in/Incois/cvi/pdfs/Results.pdf, accessed on 12 December 2019.

  7. The population data from 1991 census was not used as tehsil (taluka) demarcations were changed between 1991 and 2001 in Gujarat. There have been no changes in these boundaries after 2001.

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Acknowledgments

I acknowledge A Das of Digital Cartography and Services for the GIS and remote sensing data and T Johri for efficient research assistance. I sincerely thank Rajesh K Abhay and the two anonymous reviewers of the manuscript whose suggestions and comments have improved the quality of the paper immensely.

Funding

This study was financed under The Economics of Ecosystem and Biodiversity (TEEB) India Initiative Programme of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC), Government of India.Author receives salary support from the Department of Economic Analysis and Research (DEAR), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development(NABARD), Mumbai under NABARD Chair Professor scheme. 

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Correspondence to Saudamini Das.

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Communicated by Anne Bousquet-Melou

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The original version of this article was revised: The article which was recently published contained error. Tables 2 and 3 in the paper have column alignment problems in many places. The first column is getting mixed with the 3rd and 4th column. The corrected table is given in this article.

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Das, S. Does mangrove plantation reduce coastal erosion? Assessment from the west coast of India. Reg Environ Change 20, 58 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-020-01637-2

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Keywords

  • Planted mangroves
  • Erosion
  • Accretion
  • Coastline change
  • Coastal protection
  • Gujarat