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Publication Type J
Authors Chanda, S.
Title AN ECO FLORISTIC SURVEY OF THE MANGROVES OF SUNDARBANS WEST BENGAL INDIA
Source Transactions of the Bose Research Institute (Calcutta)
Abstract Mangroves are the specialized vegetational constituents which grow in the littoral regions of the world confined mainly to the tropics, sometimes to sub-tropical zones. Sundarbans, i.e., the delta of the Ganga-Brahmaputra river system in India and Bangladesh occupies probably the largest single block mangroves in the world, 6440 km2 in area. The Sundarbans is situated in the tropics where the winter is cool and summer is warm. Rainfall is monsoonish, concentrated between June and the end of Sept., total average rainfall being 173 cm. With regard to salinity of water, a more saline condition prevails in the western region than in the eastern. The guiding factors responsible for the nature of vegetation are physical and ecological. An adaptation to overcome the physiological and physical inability of the loose and wet soil, development of pneumatophore and stilt roots of most of the tree species occurs. The major mangrove elements are Excoecaria agallocha, Carapa maluecensis, C. obovata, Sonneratia apetala, Avicennia officinalis, A. alba, A. marina, Bruguiera gymnorhiza, Rhizophora conjugata, R. mucronata, Ceriops roxburghiana, Aegialitis rotundifolia, Acanthus ilicifolius, Suaeda maritima, Phoenix paludosa, Nipa fruticans, Heritiera minor, Cynometra ramiflora and Aegiceras majus (the last two are best honey producing plants). The entire mangrove and associated vegetation can be divided into 3 stages based on habit and ecological requirements: salt water forests, moderately salt water forests and fresh water forests. There are 2 successional stages: sand-dune progression and saline swamp progression. Ecologically mangrove vegetation in an edaphic climax. Almost every estuary shows a series of easily recognizable successive stages of vegetation. As the delta creeps seawards the soil level is raised making the water fresher from the newly established fringe to vegetation approaching the local climatic climax. Each stage in an ecosystem gives way to the next as the habit gradually changes in the direction of becoming unsuited to all earlier types. The mangrove forests, therefore, represent only a seral type.
ISSN 0006-7903
ISBN 0006-7903
Year Published 1977
Volume 40
Issue 1
Beginning Page 5-14
Unique Article Identifier BCI:BCI197865051450
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