Martello Mangrove Plantation
Mangroves are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. In Sri Lanka mangroves occur along the sheltered inertial coastlines associated with estuaries and lagoons. The largest tracts of mangrove habitats in Sri Lanka are found in Puttlam Lagoon, Kala Oya basin and Trincomalee. Mangroves are associated with woody, seed-bearing and highly specialized plants. Mangroves exist in harsh environments with anaerobic soils, tidal currents, high salinity, high temperature and strong winds 30 to 35 0C. Therefore, to survive and grow under such environmental conditions mangrove plants have developed many morphological and physiological adaptations
Mangrove Eco-system is also important as a habitat for fauna including birds by providing food and resting and roosting sites to a number of wetland birds including migrant ones. Human population living near the coast also have benefited from the mangroves as it provides many benefits for their livelihoods. With the increase of human population, the demand for these vital Eco-systems has been increased to a rather unsustainable level and thus the depletion of the resource in many areas of the country.
The floristic diversity of mangrove Eco-system in Sri Lanka is rich compared to many countries. This is due to the diversity of climatic, edaphic and hydrological aspects of the coastal region. Mangrove species of 29 different types have been identified in Sri Lanka so far.
In addition, the diversity of mangrove associates is also a unique feature in the mangroves of this country. The rich species diversity has given a more established less fragile character to the mangrove Eco-system. This could be seen in abandoned prawn farms in Puttalam District where pioneer mangroves are growing with other pioneer species. Table 1 illustrates the floristic diversity of true mangroves.
Rotaract Alumni Mora extending the project scope to mangrove conservation under the project “Marathon Towards Greenery” organized a mangrove awareness session along with a mangrove plantation which was successfully completed on 18th of March 2022.
Penned By : Rtr. Kavinda Senarathne