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Recent Topics Posters

Yong, Jean [1], Sheue, Chiou-Rong [2].

An update about the botanical and conservation status of the rare and globally critically endangered mangrove Bruguiera hainesii (Rhizophoraceae).

The very rare mangrove Bruguiera hainesii C. G. Rogers or the “Eye of the Crocodile” is only known from a few fragmented locations in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia (Irian Jaya), Myanmar, Vietnam, the Solomon Islands (Choiseul), and Papua New Guinea. It was therefore given the IUCN status of Critically Endangered (Polidoro et al. 2010). This category indicated that B. hainesii has the highest probability of extinction as determined by the IUCN Red Listing process. At present, there are less than 250 mature individuals in the wild globally and its scarcity throughout its range was confirmed by recent botanical surveys. Tomlinson (1986) mentioned that little is known about the biology of this species when compared to the other mangroves. Ecologically, B. hainesii was reported to occur naturally on the landward side of the coastal mangrove forest (Watson, 1928; Tomlinson, 1986). However, recent surveys noted that B. hainesii was able to grow in other zones within the mangroves, including the seaward zone facing the sea (Manukan Island, Sabah, East Malaysia; Con Dao, South Vietnam; Loyang, Singapore). Such an anomaly in distribution may be attributed to the higher degree of anthropogenic and/or natural disturbance experienced by mangrove trees and dispersal of propagules in many tropical mangrove forests. Given the rarity of B. hainesii, there are ongoing efforts to better understand the biology of this rare and unusual species. We postulated that the rarity of B. hainesii throughout its bio-geographical range is due to a variety of reasons: plausible absence/rarity of pollinator, low level of propagule production, propagules having low viability, slow growth of propagule, low rates of photosynthesis, slow growth of adult trees, susceptible to herbivory, etc. Works are in progress and some interesting data are presented here. The unusual coppicing of new shoots from the pneumatophores of B. hainesii offers a potential avenue to produce more trees vegetatively. Efforts to multiply this endangered species by rooting the coppice shoots through various means had started. It is unclear whether this species can survive for the next 100 years as it natural habitat (usually the back mangrove) globally is under threat from land clearing. This implied that the protection of the remaining trees at the various current locations is very important and should therefore be accorded the highest conservation priority.

Broader Impacts:


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Bruguiera hainesii


1 - Singapore University of Technology And Design, Life Science, 20 Dover Drive, Singapore, N/A, 138682, Singapore
2 - National Chung Hsing University, Department of Life Sciences & Research Center for Global Change Biology, Taichung, 402, Taiwan

Keywords:
mangroves
Endangered
conservation.

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PRT033
Abstract ID:1328
Candidate for Awards:None


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