The purpose of this research report is to examine the production of mangrove and its natural habitats, the collection of various samples of the roots, leaves and seeds and perform experiments to extract different metals and some very useful compounds such as fatty acids, which are also known as vegetable oil. The emphasis of the project is to determine the condition of the coastal areas and its soil with compatibility to the mangrove growth and the impacts of the plantation on the marine and wild life. The research question here depicts the comparison between the production of the forests and the economic, industrial and the biological advantages which are facilitated by human activities and deforestation. This study consists of various journal reports as well as the power point presentation which possess massive information of the cultivation, production and germination of the mangrove forests, any barriers to its survival, and at the same time, the benefits marine life and the natural habitats like birds, fish and other land animals receive from its existence.
Trees, forests and wild life are considered an endangered species in our world today. The afforestation process takes much longer than the destruction of the habitats as mangroves require an extreme weather and soil conditions. From my point of view, Mangroves are swampy plants and thus the arid conditions needs to be converted into a tropical one. The areas researched in my project has been described further in this investigation, as well as information of the UAE’s economic and land composition is discussed as which part of the UAE is best for the mangrove cultivation and ways to save the costs of animal food by providing mangrove leaves as fodder for camels, birds and other farm animals.
Mangroves are one of the richest and the oldest, diverse plantations of the U.A.E coastal areas, with high salinity and with potential economic value as described by Avicennia marina (Western, 1989, Embabi, 1993). The report is based on the historical, economic, ecological, and anthropological survival of the mangroves vegetation within the U.A.E. with various conditions as well its dispersion and existence worldwide. The U.A.E. Coastline is sheltered by the mangroves vegetation in the tropics and the subtropics, where they fulfill some very importance functions. Providing various fertility benefits for the soil, mangroves contribute to the protection, conservation of biological diversity, provision of habitat, and bringing provisions for a variety of fish and shellfish according to the FAO (2005). The research question is, “Has the Production of Mangroves and its natural habitats increased potentially over the industrial and biological advantages of Mangroves in the recent years. Do you agree?”
The research is depicted from various reports and presentations which highlight different species of mangroves, its growth in extreme conditions, nutrient composition of seeds, leaves and its vegetation presently. The Fossil record explains the antique age of the vegetation. The explanation of the mangroves species, its area covered in population, and the quantity of the species has been highlighted in the research. The ecological processes with its dispersion and habitats, its modern processes- the human induced changes and its demeaning impacts on the mangrove population and plantation today are being discussed and analyzed in detail. Prevention methods of the endangered mangrove species would be one of the main, focused areas of this report as well as the future forestation programs initiated by various countries, which comprise of high quantities of mangrove vegetation. The relatively massive research on mangroves and its nutritional benefits on the environment have lead the U.A.E. Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to collect the selected parts of the mangrove seeds, leaves and roots to analyze for crude protein, ether extract, fiber, ash, some heavy metal and fatty acid composition as mentioned in the Emirates journal of Agricultural Research (2000). This also indicates that the vegetation and its decomposition is biodegradable as animal fodder has been investigated by many workers at the coastal beaches of U.A.E. (Kafaji, 1990, Kafajk et al., 1988, 1993). Therefore, part of this research report is to analyze the nutrient benefits of seeds, leaves and roots of the mangrove.
The study and all of its aspects helps us understand how short and long-term ecological and biological processes in determining the natural resource for animals, humans and the vegetation for its environment. Moreover, historical evidence will be discussed in order to highlight the actual existence and the dispersion processes of this useful plant.
There are currently 54 species of mangroves trees worldwide among where three are the most common ones as extracted from the FAO (2005) Rome, Italy Report.
- Red Mangrove also known as Rhizophora Mangle
- Black Mangrove also known as Avicennia germinans
- White Mangroves known as Laguncularia racemosa
Only two of the species are found in the U.A.E.
- Avicennia Marina-occurring on muddy flats or fine texture soils
- Rhizophora Mucronata
Moreover, mangrove forests have a patch distribution in the United Arab Emirates, with the exception of Abu Dhabi, Khor al Bazm Sabkha and Siaiya Island where the vegetation form significant stands; however, the only two trees mangroves namely, Avicennia Marina, and the Rhizophora mucronata are sheltered in this country, provided by FAO (2005) Rome, Italy.
Evolutionary Process of the Mangrove:
The Marine Freshwater Research (1998, 49, 277-286) has highlighted in its investigation that the fossil record of mangroves suggests that mangroves have four viewpoints about the dispersion of its flora (plant) as its centre of origin. The Eastern Tethys Sea is the source of dispersion into the Atlantic eastwards and the Pacific via the Panama Gap respectively, whereas the dispersal from the Western Tethys Sea goes south via Southern Africa to eastern Tethys Sea, and a two-way dispersal from a central Tethys Sea or an eastern Tethys sea origin as stated in the Marine Freshwater Research (1998, 49, 277-286).
Materials and Methods:
This study has provided various selective processes on the ecological, biological, historical and anthropological sorting of the vegetation which has either alienated or reformed the species to a certain extent. There have been several investigations on the roots, leaves and seeds in order to collect samples of the agricultural composition of the plantation as well as the cultivation of the gray mangrove, Avicennia marina, as this species require large quantities and concentration of sea water and does not grow in salty marsh conditions where the plantation gets difficult on coastal arid land according to the Emirates Journal of Agricultural Research (2002, 4, 39-57), Dubai.
The method depicts several experiments based on the analysis of nutrient content of seeds, leaves and mangrove roots as an alternative feeds to the animals in UAE, as well as shed light on the experimental cultivation of the gray mangrove, Avicennia Marina where the seafood production and other aquatic animals were observed for higher economic production and development of the large arid lands along the UAE coast. Another experiment carried out analyzed the metal and fatty acids composition in the seeds, leaves and roots of the mangrove as a useful by-product of the human induced processes. Threats to the plantation due to human activity along the coastal areas has led to clearing of mangrove forests to create human settlements, and its direct impact on the natural habitats, marine and wild life will be unzipped in this study.
Extraction of Metals From the Seeds, Leaves and Roots:
Initially, to analyze the metals and fatty acid compositions, samples of the mangrove seeds, leaves and roots were collected from trees along Umm Al Qaiwain coast, where they were dried at 55 degrees C for 27 hours, grounded and then treated with nitric-perchloric acid mixture and then the ashes were diluted with de-ionized water for the atomic absorption analysis of the spectrophotometer. Similarly, analysis of various metals were carried out with double beam atomic absorption spectrophotometer, where the glass equipment were used to avoid any contaminations as stated in the Emirates Journal of Agricultural research (2000, 2, 59-68).
The fatty acid composition was performed on seeds, leaves and roots extracted fats, where sodium meth-oxide in dry methanol was used with the gas chromatogram, equipped with a chem. Station for quantification and the identification of fatty acids was carried out by comparison of retention times of unknown fatty acids to reference standard fatty acids, separated under the same conditions.
Seeds for Cultivation:
Gray Mangrove seeds were collected for cultivation during the fruiting season from late-August to mid-October in umm Al Qaiwain lagoon. The seeds are pre-treated for cultivation where they are removed from their pericarps to avoid fungi infection before planting in sand as mentioned in the Emirates Journal of Agricultural Research (2002, 4, 39-57), Dubai. The easiest way to remove the pericarps, is the following morning, then washing the seeds, and extracting the larvae-infested ones from the good ones, and keeping the seeds under the roof until planting without seawater/fresh water. Planting should be done the same day as recommended by the Emirates Journal of Agricultural Research (2002, 4, 39-57). The planting areas along the drainage were between low and high tide line, where nest holes of pea-sized crab, on the bank slopes are good indicators for planting places, as the drainage is well-protected from strong waves, and no aquatic animals are found to eat these planting seeds. Emirates Journal of Agricultural Research (2002, 4, 39-57) indicates that the direct seed planting along the drainage was tried during the fruiting season at 3 cm depth at 20-25 cm interval, where the results were depicted after 20 to 25 days of the plantation.
Extraction of the seeds, leaves and roots of the mangroves illustrated the chemical composition of nearly similar crude protein content, however, crude fat level was higher in leaves than that in seeds and roots; the roots and seeds demonstrated crude fiber, neutral detergent fiber(NDF) and acid detergent fiber(ADF), and Khafaji et al., 1993 reported that the crude protein, lipid and ash of leaves Avicennia marina were 12.9, 11.0 and 15.1% respectively, which proves the variability in environmental conditions. The lowest levels of toxic elements such as CD, Ni, Pb and Cu, were found in seeds while in leaves and roots, the values were higher as well. The Emirates Journal of Agricultural Research (2002, 2, 59-68) provides evidence of the deposition of fine particles, in the mangrove forests, which are normally enriched with metals and the heavy metal deposition along the coastal areas of the forests have better qualitative characteristics from the nutrient point of view, however more chemical and biological research is required in order to determine its impact on the ecosystem.
Significant amount of fatty acids were found in the mangrove seeds, leaves and roots, where Palmitic acid (C16:0) is the highest among the saturated fatty acids in seeds, leaves and roots extract, which is typical of vegetable fats as stated by the Emirates Journal of Agricultural Research (2002, 2, 59-68). These results hold significance in the nutritional and economic value of the seed content which contains as high as 50.2% linolenic acid which is a viable source of polyunsaturated fatty acids as examined by the Emirates Journal of Agricultural Research (2002, 2, 59-68).
The germination of seeds along the drainage was observed after 20 -25 days and they grew smoothly until December, whereas, sea algae and drifting rubbish deposits on young trees got killed during the months of January to April. However, the young trees have a 40% chance of survival after the winter season, if left after the mortality rate; thus from two to five years of mangrove trees started flowering and fruiting and produce large number of seeds from late August to early October as they became stronger with the passage of time. The Emirates Journal of Agricultural Research (2002, 2, 59-68) states that the formation of small forests which are more than 5m in height after 10 years was established without any maintenance or nourishment during the experimental period. This proves that it takes more time for mangroves trees and swamps to establish rather than using one for human urbanization and formation of industries, barrages and dams.
Human induced processes:
Marine Freshwater Research (1998, 49, 277-286) have explained human activity such as pollution, water diversion and selective clearing as a significance in the scarcity of mangrove ranges. Massive stands of Bruguiera Gymnorhiza have been selectively felled for boat building in the Sudan and Yemen (Zahran 1977; Ormond et al, 1988), as well as Rhizpphora mucronata has disappeared from the Arabian Gulf for similar reasons. The large-scale development of mangroves by the aquaculture ponds is a massive and modern phenomena that has contributed to a major loss of mangroves in the Philippines, Indonesia and Ecuador, as well as Heriteria fomes have been reduced in its distribution to the wetter eastern Sundarbans in Bangladesh as a result of tectonic changes in combination with dam construction and extraction of freshwater (Blasco et al. 1996)
Human activities portray destruction along the coastal areas of the UAE, whereas, the FAO (2005) Rome, Italy, represents that in the Gulf of Oman, little is the use of mangroves there, but some areas they are used as fodder for camels, fuel, charcoal and for the preparation of stakes for fishing. Moreover, many areas are increasingly threatened by oil and other kind of pollution such as landfill associated with urban and industrial development. I believe that the deforestation of mangroves, with the concept of urbanization, has been the major loss of mangroves, where dams and barrages have shifted prevailing salinity regimes to the exclusion of one species rather than another. Higher concentration of polluted water is being drained back to the sea, rivers and lakes closer to the mangrove forests.
Apart from the industrial use, animals are being fed via Mangroves as an alternative source of nutrient in order to save the higher costs of such products in the country.
Although the mangrove’s deforestation have left a huge impact on the UAE, mangrove extent has been increasing over the last twenty years, due to natural growth and successful afforestation programme activities, which were started the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in 1972 in Abu Dhabi. Although the Emirates Journal of Agricultural Research, Dubai (2002, 4, 39-57) indicates that many young fish including mullet black sea bream, mangrove snapper, sweet lips, grouper, milkfish, and barracuda, started to appear it he drainage canal where mangrove grew up around the drainage after 10 years and Gray Mangrove is the sole cause of this revolution, as it has strong resistance to high saline sea water in comparison to other species, and therefore, gray mangrove is the most suitable species for afforestation on Sabkha in UAE. United Arab Emirates is a hot country, and its weather and soil contributes nutrients for mangrove plantation which were provided from rivers, recycling of mangrove forests and living animals in tropical regions. This is an ongoing cycle which works in the mangrove cultivation thru the dissolved feces of fish and shrimp as a by-product and vice versa, in order to keep balance in accordance with the ecological circle of nature.
The establishment of the mangrove forests along the drainage after 10 years has provided good source of food for many aquatic animals and the drainage has eventually became a nursery for fish. The results of the mangrove cultivation not only has boosted the afforestation of forests for natural habitats, which supports the wild and marine life, as well as provided a higher possibility of greening Sabkha combined with aquaculture in UAE. This ecological process is vital to the resettlement of various inhabitants of the natural ecosystem such as birds, fish and other animals, and for humans as well, as mentioned in the Emirates Journal of Agricultural Research, Dubai (2002, 4, 39-57). Plantation, cultivation and production of Mangrove is of as importance as its biological and industrial usage. I agree to the fact that since the dispersion of mangrove flora in various parts of the world, the over-exploitation and industrial use of human induced processes have increased drastically as compared to the provision of natural habitats for the mangrove production. No doubt that the over-exploitation has demeaned the purpose of increasing vegetation and receiving huge advantages from the forests.
Mangrove provides various useful metals, fatty acids and food for marine and wild life. The dispersion of mangrove seeds are being utilized by the Asia, Pacific and most of all by the Middle Eastern countries like UAE.
The project report provides adequate evidence to support the facts that mangrove production has slowed down in recent years, as per the human activities for industrial and biological purposes. However, the biodiversity of the ecosystem has still preserved the countless number of ways and tactics human beings can apply in order to increase the mangrove production thru afforestation and provision of useful resources, reduction in animal food cost by providing mangrove left over as a fodder for farm animals.
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