Historical ecological monitoring and appraisal for extractive uses and other values in Malaysia unveils consequences of regime shifts in 120 years of mangrove management

Danyang Chen, Behara Satyanarayana, Giovanna Wolswijk, Nur Hannah Abd Rahim, Ahmad Aldrie Amir, Jean Hugé, Farid Dahdouh Guebas

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Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve (MMFR) in Peninsular Malaysia, with its ‘management plans’ traced back to 1904, is the longest-managed mangrove forest for timber (pole/charcoal) production through intermediate thinning and final felling (or clear-felling) operations. For 115 years, the mangroves in the productive zones have been harvested under a 30-year rotation cycle. The 10-year management plans released by the Forestry Department have been supporting silvicultural management. Despite the long management history, the
mangrove biomass and quality were found to have decreased in recent years. Therefore, we analyzed all the available management plans between 1904 and 2019 to summarize both qualitative and quantitative data (i.e., silviculture policy/practice and trading) in search of the shifts in management practices. A comparison with relevant literature on the MMFR was also made to evaluate the potential issues of scientific concern in the ongoing management. We found that the higher yield (per ha) of charcoal and poles in the past 20 years resulted
from exploiting the restrictive productive zones (=forest that is environmentally sensitive and marginally productive). With a policy inclined greatly toward the financial outcomes of timber-based products, the current silviculture practice may turn out to be unsustainable if any impacts like extreme weather, tree dieoff, sea-level rise, etc., affect mangroves in the future. We discuss the dilemma between greenwood harvesting and the protection of a diverse range of ecosystem service. This study sheds light on the strengths and weaknesses of historic and current mangrove timber harvesting regimes in MMFR and can contribute to supporting future sustainable mangrove management in Matang, and other forest formation.
Originele taal-2English
Artikelnummer126582
Aantal pagina's13
TijdschriftJournal for Nature Conservation
Volume79
Nummer van het tijdschrift1126582
StatusPublished - 2024

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