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Book chapter Book chapter
Title:Structural Inventory of Mangrove Forests in Ngomeni
Authors:Bundotich, G.
Karachi, M.
Fondo, E.
Kairo, J.G.
Book title:Advances in Coastal Ecology: People, processes and ecosystems in Kenya
Editors:Hoorweg, J.
Muthiga, N.
City of publisher:Leiden
Publisher:African Studies Centre
Geographic term:Kenya
Abstract:The structure of mangrove forests in Ngomeni was studied using the quadrat method and aerial photographs. Belt transects perpendicular to the water line were laid from Ngomeni village (Ngomeni-1) to Marereni (Ngomeni-2). A total of 8 transects comprising of 44 quadrats were studied. Six mangrove species were encountered in the study area. Based on the importance value index, Rhizophora mucronata and Avicennia marina were found to be the most dominant species. The stand densities were 2367 stems ha-1 and 1688 stems ha-1 in Ngomeni-2 and Ngomeni-1 respectively. Overall, mangroves in Ngomeni-2 had a higher complexity index and stand volume compared to the Ngomeni-1 forest signifying less human pressure and environmental stresses in Ngomeni-2 forests. There were more young than old trees in both forests. This is expected for non-even aged forests. Based on Morisita's dispersion index, adult trees were evenly distributed (Io<1) but juveniles dispersion ranged from even (Io<1), random (Io=1) to clumped (Io>1) according to species. Although the pilot area is suitable for mangrove development, compared to other mangrove sites in Kenya the standing volume in Ngomeni is relatively low. Reasons for this could be overexploitation of wood products as well as conversion of mangrove areas for salt production and aquaculture. The degradation has amplified sediment accretion on the seaward side causing burial of mangrove roots and eventual death of the fringing forest. There is obviously a need to reforest degraded areas and control further encroachment of salt pans into the mangrove forests in Ngomeni. (Source: Author Abstract).