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Building with Nature Guideline > Building Solutions > Ecosystem engineers > Habitat requirements for mangroves 

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Habitat requirements for mangroves

 

This Building Solution focuses on the creation of tropical mangrove forests that dissipate wave energy in the intertidal zone and influence erosion and sedimentation. The development of a mangrove-based design requires integration of ecological and engineering knowledge. A first assessment can be made with limited site-specific knowledge, for instance making use of local and historical data. Subsequently, for each new case a detailed feasibility assessment has to be made, integrating generic and site-specific ecological and engineering knowledge with socio-economic aspects.

 

This Building Solution describes the habitat requirements for mangrove forests in muddy environments with a high sediment input. This guideline can be used to check whether a certain location is suitable or can be made suitable for the establishment of mangrove forests.

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Determination flowchart for mangroves

Determination flowchart for mangroves


How to Use

If an ecosystem engineer is considered to be included in a design for coastal protection or coastal rehabilitation, several questions need to be answered:

  • Is it possible to create a suitable habitat for a specific ecosystem in the project area?
  • What would be the envisaged (protection) services of this ecosystem?
  • To what extent can the ecosystem contribute to the primary(protection) function of the design and how does this affect the design itself? For example, what dimensions of a mangrove forest are needed to reduce erosion or stabilize sediment? And what dimensions act as an efficient dissipator of wind and waves?
  • What effects do the ecosystem engineers in this ecosystem have on the existing physical, ecological and socio-economical system?
  • What are the costs, uncertainties and risks involved with including these ecosystem engineers in the design?

 

In this Building Solution, the focus lies on the habitat requirements for mangroves. The determination flowchart gives a first answer to the suitability of the project area as a habitat for mangroves. Other questions can be elaborated in subsequent or parallel steps.

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Practical Applications

On the right a couple of cases are presented providing some application experiences that can be used as inspiration for future designs.

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References

 

 

 

 

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