Ayeyarwady delta mangrove forest



Ayeyarwady delta mangrove forest is dominated by trees tolerant of salinity, tidal inundation and substrate anoxia. Salt tolerance is conferred by osmotic regulation and salt excretion. Specialised structure such as aerial stilt roots, lenticels and aerenchymatous tissues transport oxygen to roots. High primary productivity and litter fall sustains a web of detritivores and their predators. At high tide, mangroves are important nursery grounds for juvenile fish (Spalding, 2001).

Assessment summary

Published estimates of the reduction in geographic distribution suggest that extensive losses of this ecosystem have occurred. Using rates of change from a long-term time-series remote sensing dataset suggests that a decrease in extent of around 79.5% is expected over a 50 year period between 1978 and 2028. However, there are challenges in linear extrapolations from historical data into the future, since the Ayeyarwady is undergoing rapid socioeconomic changes which may mean a non-linear response in the future. Even with this uncertainty, the ecosystem qualifies as Endangered under criterion A2b, and just under the threshold for Critically Endangered. Endangered.