Research Article

Contribution of Vegetation Structure on Carbon Assimilation Capacity of Mangrove Ecosystem: A Case Study from Negombo Estuary, Sri Lanka  

M.A.D. Umayangani1 , K.A.R.S. Perera2
1 Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
2 Department of Botany, The Open University of Sri Lanka, Nawala, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Marine Science, 2017, Vol. 7, No. 46   doi: 10.5376/ijms.2017.07.0046
Received: 09 Nov., 2017    Accepted: 01 Dec., 2017    Published: 15 Dec., 2017
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Umayangani M.A.D., and Perera K.A.R.S., 2017, Contribution of vegetation structure on carbon assimilation capacity of mangrove ecosystem: a case study from Negombo estuary, Sri Lanka, International Journal of Marine Science, 7(46): 439-446 (doi: 10.5376/ijms.2017.07.0046)


Mangrove ecosystems perform number of important ecological functions and provide a wide range of services at the local or national level and provide a unique combination of both organic matter production and sequestration, which is different from other coastal ecosystems. Mangroves are extensively used to extract twigs and branches for the construction of “Brush piles”, the predominant fishing devices in the Negombo estuary, Sri Lanka, believed to have one major impact on the vegetation structure followed by the changes in primary productivity and carbon assimilation capacity of the ecosystem. Present study was conducted with an objective of quantify and relationships between the vegetation structure and Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) of disturbed and natural mangrove stands in the Negombo estuary. Vegetation structural parameters were gathered according to the standard procedures and the measurement of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) used to calculate the Leaf Area Index (LAI) followed by the GPP. Highest values of vegetation structural parameters, LAI and GPP were recorded from estuarine waterfront and decreased with landwards, which indicated more active vegetation is near by the estuarine waterfront. Comparatively, vegetation structural/structural complexity (CI) and GPP/carbon assimilation capacity were superior in undisturbed/ natural mangrove stands (31.86-36.65 Mg ha-1y-1) than that was recorded in disturbed/ replanted mangrove areas (26.42-35.25 Mg ha-1y-1) at Negombo estuary. Statistically significant liner relationships (P<0.01) were revealed between vegetation structural complexity and GPP (CI=.0.498 GPP +28.208); structural complexity and Leaf Area Index (CI=0.0956 LAI +5.3551).

Mangroves; Vegetation structure; Leaf area index; Gross primary productivity
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