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Mon 12 Apr 2010

IUCN Red List Categories for Mangrove Species

Category : marine

The first assessment of mangrove species under IUCN Red List categories was published in PLoS ONE on 8th April 2010:

Polidoro BA, Carpenter KE, Collins L, Duke NC, Ellison AM et al., 2010. The Loss of Species: Mangrove Extinction Risk and Geographic Areas of Global Concern. PLoS ONE, 5(4): e10095. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010095

The paper reveals that of the 70 species of mangrove known globally, 11 species are threatened while 11 others require close attention

IUCN Red List Categories for Mangrove species
22 out of 70 mangrove species are classified as threatened (Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable), Near Threatened or Data Deficient
(from Polidoro BA, Carpenter KE, Collins L, Duke NC, Ellison AM et al., 2010.

  • Critically Endangered (2 species)
    1. Sonneratia griffithii (Lythraceae)
    2. Bruguiera hainesii (Rhizophoraceae) [species present in Singapore]
  • Endangered (3 species)
    1. Camptostemon philippinense (Malvaceae)
    2. Heritiera fomes (Malvaceae)
    3. Heritiera globosa (Malvaceae)
  • Vulnerable (6 species)
    1. Avicennia bicolor (Acanthaceae)
    2. Avicennia integra (Acanthaceae)
    3. Avicennia rumphiana (Acanthaceae) [species present in Singapore]
    4. Tabebuia palustris (Bignoniaceae)
    5. Mora oleifera (Fabaceae)
    6. Pelliciera rhizophorae (Tetrameristaceae)
  • Near Threatened (7 species)
    1. Phoenix paludosa (Arecaceae)
    2. Sonneratia ovata (Lythraceae) [species present in Singapore]
    3. Brownlowia tersa (Malvaceae) [species present in Singapore]
    4. Aegiceras floridum (Myrsinaceae)
    5. Aegialitis rotundifolia (Plumbaginaceae)
    6. Ceriops decandra (Rhizophoraceae) [species present in Singapore]
    7. Rhizophora samoensis (Rhizophoraceae)
  • Data Deficient (4 species)
    1. Acanthus xiamensis (Acanthaceae)
    2. Excoecaria indica (Euphorbiaceae)
    3. Brownlowia argentata (Malvaceae)
    4. Aglaia cucullata (Meliaceae);

You can download the open-access article at PLoS ONE - it is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. i.e. unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium is permited provided the original author and source are credited.

Figure 1. Mangrove Species Richness: Native distributions of mangrove species.
Mangrove Species Richness: Native distributions of mangrove species
(Figure 1 in: Polidoro BA, Carpenter KE, Collins L, Duke NC, Ellison AM et al., 2010)

Figure 2. Proportion of Threatened (Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable) Mangrove Species.
Proportion of Threatened Mangrove Species
(Figure 2 in: Polidoro BA, Carpenter KE, Collins L, Duke NC, Ellison AM et al., 2010)

"Mangrove species are uniquely adapted to tropical and subtropical coasts, and although relatively low in number of species, mangrove forests provide at least US $1.6 billion each year in ecosystem services and support coastal livelihoods worldwide.

Globally, mangrove areas are declining rapidly as they are cleared for coastal development and aquaculture and logged for timber and fuel production. Little is known about the effects of mangrove area loss on individual mangrove species and local or regional populations.

To address this gap, species-specific information on global distribution, population status, life history traits, and major threats were compiled for each of the 70 known species of mangroves. Each species' probability of extinction was assessed under the Categories and Criteria of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Eleven of the 70 mangrove species (16%) are at elevated threat of extinction. Particular areas of geographical concern include the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Central America, where as many as 40% of mangroves species present are threatened with extinction.

Across the globe, mangrove species found primarily in the high intertidal and upstream estuarine zones, which often have specific freshwater requirements and patchy distributions, are the most threatened because they are often the first cleared for development of aquaculture and agriculture.

The loss of mangrove species will have devastating economic and environmental consequences for coastal communities, especially in those areas with low mangrove diversity and high mangrove area or species loss. Several species at high risk of extinction may disappear well before the next decade if existing protective measures are not enforced."

See also Ria Tan's article: "Mangroves of the world and Singapore," by Ria Tan. Wild Shores Singapore, 09 Apr 2010 - link

Posted at 7:23AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news