Does mangrove vegetation structure reflect human utilization of ecosystem goods and services?

Frederick Asante, Jean Hugé, Noble K. Asare, Farid Dahdouh Guebas

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Many coastal communities in developing countries depend on mangrove
ecosystem services (ES). A combination of anthropogenic and environmental
stresses threatens mangroves globally. This study at the Ankobra catchment
communities in Ghana focused on the relation between ES utilization and
mangrove forest structure. Through vegetation survey, we observed significant
effects of selective logging, branch cutting, density of Acrostichum aureum,
and water stress on tree stocking and sapling densities. We observed through
interviews in five communities that about 98% and 88% of mangrove wood
harvested are used for fuelwood and construction respectively. The vegetation
structure of the forest areas receiving high harvesting pressures was less com-
plex, with lower tree and sapling density, as well as lower seed-bearing trees
than less-disturbed areas. Existing mangrove harvesting regulations are compro-
mised to accommodate the needs of the surrounding communities. Recognizing
these impacts is important to improve management decisions, address commu-
nity needs, and reduce pressure on mangroves.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's26
Nummer van het tijdschrift6
StatusPublished - 16 jun 2023

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