According to a study published in the journal Ecological Informatics, certain mangrove species in Chilika and Sundarbans along the east coast and Dwarka and Porbandar along the west coast of India is likely to reduce and shift landward by 2070 due to decline in suitable habitats in response to precipitation and sea level changes.
- Scientists at the BSIP, an autonomous institution of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), used Ensemble species distribution model to study the past and current state of two mangrove species and predict their future.
- They found significant reduction and landward shift of mangroves in the future (2070) due to decline in suitable habitats, specifically along the east and west coast of India in response to precipitation and sea level changes in the future.
- In contrast, the maximum range expansion of the mangroves was mapped in the past, which was validated by fossil pollen data.
- The findings would be useful in the implementation of mitigation and adaptation strategies in the identified hotspots for conserving the coastal wetlands and reducing the impact of climate change on the coastal vegetation along the Indian coastline.
- The Indian coastline is vulnerable to the impact of climate and sea level changes, and there is not much attempt for the coastal wetland species prediction and management, with limited research carried out for their future habitat mapping.
- To fill this gap, this study tried to project the potential impact of climate change on mangroves as coastal wetland species.
- The study suggests that establishing effective buffer zones in these conserved areas can narrow down the effect of non-conservative areas on the core conservative zone, and adopting preventive measures can turn some areas into highly suitable regions for facilitating the growth of these mangrove species.
- Mangroves support numerous ecosystem services and help reduce coastal ecological risks, yet they are one of the severely endangered ecosystems declining rapidly due to climate change, sea level fluctuations, and human activities.
Source : PIB