Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 361–368 | Cite as

Mangrove species distribution and water salinity: an indicator species approach to Sundarban

  • Jyotiskona Barik
  • Anirban Mukhopadhyay
  • Tuhin Ghosh
  • Sandip Kumar Mukhopadhyay
  • Shahad Mahabub Chowdhury
  • Sugata Hazra


The present study attempts to reveal the impact of salinity on mangrove species in terms of species distribution, and their trend of adapting to salinity changes. The study considers the mangrove species of entire Sundarban encompassing India and Bangladesh. The mangrove species distribution depends on a great deal on the salinity regime. Each mangrove species has optimal salinity range for its preferred habitat. This preference, as well as its tolerance level, may alter with the changing environmental regime. Based on this hypothesis, a few indicator species have been identified according to the preferred salinity. Ceriops and Avicennia have been identified as high salinity indicator species which are found in high frequency in the polyhaline zones, whereas Nypa and Heritiera are recognized as low salinity indicator species which show high abundance in oligohaline to mesohaline zones. Exoecaria and Bruguiera, the medium salinity indicator species, are found almost everywhere but are most abundant in the mesohaline zones. This study will help in evaluating the adaptive capacity of mangroves and also could build a functional relationship between their occurrences as indicator species with respect to the salinity.


Sundarban Mangroves Salinity Indicator species 



This work has been done under the project ‘Assessing Health, Livelihoods, Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation in Populous Deltas [NERC Grant References: NE/J002755/1]’ which was executed with funding support from the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme. The ESPA programme is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Authors are grateful to ESPA, DFID, ESRC and NERC. Authors are also thankful to GLOVIS and USGS for the availability of satellite imagery. Prof. Tim Callahan, College of Charleston, USA and Prof. Nilanjana Gupta, Dept. of English, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India have carefully reviewed the manuscript and suggested some modifications. His help is gratefully acknowledged. The authors are also indebted to Forest Department of Bangladesh, Survey of Bangladesh (SOB), Institute of Water Modelling (IWM), Govt. of Bangladesh and Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS), Bangladesh to carry out the present work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Oceanographic StudiesJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Department of Marine ScienceUniversity of CalcuttaKolkataIndia
  3. 3.International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)DhakaBangladesh

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