By By Swati Mohan Sappal and Alagappan Ramanathan
Authors are Research Scholar and Professor respectively, at School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mangroves are critically important wetlands in view of the variety of ecosystem functions they perform. Yet, they are witnessing widespread destruction, much to the peril of coastal communities. A better understanding of their role is of utmost importance for designing future management strategies.
Mangroves are highly specialised ecosystems characterised by salt-resistant plants thriving in the intertidal areas along sheltered coasts and estuaries in tropical and sub-tropical regions. They are commonly found in the latitudes between 24ºN and 38ºS and cover up to 75 per cent of coastlines worldwide. Mangroves, often termed as the tropical rainforests of the sea, are the second highest source of primary production next to rainforests and have a substantial impact on the global carbon budget (Dittmar et.al., 2006). These...