IMPACT OF SALINITY ON THE GROWTH OF Avicennia officinalis and Aegicerus corniculatum

Course # FWT-4114 Course Title: Project Thesis

[This paper has been prepared and submitted to Forestry and Wood Technology Discipline, Khulna University, as partial fulfillment of the 4-years professional B.Sc. (honors) in Forestry from Forestry and Wood Technology Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh.]


Submitted By

A. K. Fazlul Hoque Associate Professor Forestry & Wood Technology Discipline Khulna University Khulna-9208 Bangladesh.

Md. A. Jalil Roll No: 970516 Forestry & Wood Technology Discipline Khulna University Khulna-9208 Bangladesh.

IMPACT OF SALINITY ON THE GROWTH OF Avicennia officinalis and Aegicerus corniculatum

Md. A. Jalil


DECLARATION I, Md. A. Jalil, declare that this thesis is a result of my own works and that it has not been submitted or accepted for a degree in any other university.

Candidate: Supervisor:

…………………………………………………. ………………………………………………….

I, hereby, give consent for my thesis, if accepted, to be available for photocopying and for interlibrary loans, and for the title and summary to be made available to our side organizations. Candidate:

…………………………………………………. Date:


DEDICATED TO SHEIKH MD. SARWAR HOSSAIN (Senior Teacher, St. Joseph’s High School, Khulna) who made me interested in mathematics And COMRADE RATAN SEN whose late life inspires me for seeking the truth And MY BELOVED PARENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I am highly grateful to my honorable teacher and supervisor A.K. Fazlul Hoque, Associate Professor, Forestry and Wood Technology Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna for his advice, materialistic support, help in understanding practical aspects of the topics in the world mangroves and overall supervision in course of writing this study paper. If there is any success, it is due to his constructive criticisms. I am indeed grateful to my Head of the Discipline, Professor Abdul Matin, Forestry and Wood Technology Discipline of Khulna University for offering me to undertake this course. I am also indebted to my senior brothers Md. Saiful Islam khan and Md. Nazrul Islam for their generous help and suggestions.

Finally I thank all of my bosom friends especially Md. Mohaimenur Rahman








encouragement and suggestions in course of preparing this study paper.

ABSTRACT Growth was measured of shoots of Avicennia officinalis (baen) and Aegicerus corniculatum (khulshi). Plants were grown in coarse sand with half strength Hoagland Solution and watered with 0, 5, 10 and 15 ppt saline water. Difference was found between the two species. In case of A. officinalis increased growth was found at 15 ppt whereas growth of A. corniculatum maximizes at 10 ppt, and at 15 ppt its growth declines. The results suggest that A. officinalis is more salt tolerant than A. corniculatum.



Declaration Dedication Acknowledgment Abstract Table of contents List of Tables List of figures


Chapter 1:

INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of the Study 1.2 Objectives

1-2 1 2

Chapter 2:

REVIEW OF LITERATTURE 2.1 Cause of Salinity Increase 2.2 Impact of Increased Salinity on Mangrove With Particular Reference to the Sundarbans. 2.3 Need for Studying Salinity Regime 2.4 Importance of Avicennia officinalis and Aegiceras corniculatum in mangrove ecosystem 2.5 Avicennia and Aegiceras in Bangladesh. 2.5.1 Avicennia spp. 2.5.2 Aegiceras corniculatum 2.6 Details of Avicennia officinalis and Aegiceras corniculatum 2.6.1 Avicennia officinalis 2.6.2 Aegiceras corniculatum 2.7 Prospect of Avicennia officinalis and Aegiceras corniculatum in Bangladesh.

3-13 3 4

Chapter 3:



Chapter 4:

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 4.1 Results 4.1.1. A. officinalis 4.1.2 A. corniculatum: 4.2 Discussion: 4.3. Limitation of the study 4.4. Recommendations

16-19 16 16 17 19 19 19 20-23



5 6 7 7 8 8 9 10 13

Page no Table 1: Table 2: Table 3: Table 4:

Growth performances of Avicennia officinalis, A. marina and A. alba along the shoreline of Bangladesh. Chemical constitutions in 1/2 strength Hoagland nutrient solution. Seedlings height growth in relation to salinity for A. officinalis Seedling height growth in relation to salinity for A. corniculatum

8 15 16 18

LIST OF FIGURES Page no Figure 2.1:

A general view of degraded mangroves where A. officinalis is naturally rehabilitating


Figure 2.2:

Self rehabilitation of A. officinalis in Karamjal NCC land.


Figure 2.62:

A. corniculatum shoot, fruits and seedling


Figure 3:

Subirrigation process


Figure 4.1.1:

Seedlings height growth in relation to salinity for A. officinalis


Figure 4.1.2

Seedling height growth in relation to salinity for A. corniculatum


CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY: Mangroves are the characteristic littoral plant formation of tropical and subtropical sheltered coastlines (FAO, 1994). Being on the land sea interface, they are always associated with and subjected to saline seawater. However saline condition is not a prerequisite for their development, rather mangroves choose saline condition to avoid the competition with the more vigorous terrestrial plants. Based on the physiological studies, Bowman (1917) and Davis (1940) concluded that mangroves are not salt lovers, rather salt tolerants. But excessive saline conditions retard seed germination, impede growth and development of mangroves. Salinity may also control the limit of distribution of a particular species. In Bangladesh, mangroves are distributed in south western part which is the true natural mangrove and in the south western part which is about to abolished and along the sea coast as artificial mangrove plantations. But these mangrove forests have been under ecological stress brought about by changes in the environmental, biological, and edaphic factors, which is causing a great loss of the forest. Over the last 20 years the Khulna Sundarbans has depleted at a rate of 1.7% and now about 10% of the forest area supports only Non Commercial Cover (NCC) (Naskar & Mandal, 1999). Besides, coastal mangrove plantations are severely infested by a borer Zeuzera conferta. These plantations are in threat for the next successional stage. Regeneration is also inadequate over the greater part of the Sundarbans. Shafi (1982) claimed that regeneration decreased by 100% in 1981 as compared to that in 1959-60. Natural regeneration is insufficient in the Indian Sundarbans also. In this case most often degradation of mangrove is ascribed to increased salinity. It is assumed that reduced water flow through the river Ganges due to Farakka barrage and embankment along river has increased soil and water salinity. Quantitative statement about salt tolerance of most of the mangroves is lacking. As for example Avicennia officinalis is high salt tolerant whereas Aegiceras corniculatum is salt sensitive but both are suitable for rehabilitation and particularly A. corniculatum (along with some other minor mangrove species) is important for under planting in old mangrove plantation to accelerate the ecological succession. Thus, this study has been undertaken to identify the salt tolerance of A. officinalis and A. corniculatum 1.2 OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study are to evaluate the status of A. officinalis and A. corniculatum in Bangladesh  collect and compile available information on the impact of salinity on the Avicennia and Aegiceras  find out the effect of salinity on growth of A. officinalis and A. corniculatum and the mode of its effect.

This study will provide scientific knowledge regarding the growth of A. officinalis and A. corniculatum in relation to salinity levels. Knowledge generated here is of scientific interest and might be useful in mangrove rehabilitation program and where A. officinalis and A. corniculatum are important components of mangrove ecosystem.

CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF LITERATURE 2.1 CAUSES OF SALINITY INCREASE Soil salinity is the consequence of the interaction among the frequency of tidal inundation, evaporation and supply of fresh water (Clarke, 1969). Other factors contributing towards the development of salinity include soil type and topography, depth of impervious subsoil, amount and seasonality of rainfall, freshwater discharge in rivers, run on from adjacent terrestrial areas, and run off (Hutchings and Saenger, 1987). Increased temperature enhances evaporation and thereby causes increased salinity. Rainfall through adding freshwater in the ecosystem lessens salinity and makes









evapotranspiration in the mangrove and thus in turn regulates salt movement in the soil. High salinity accompanied with high temperature and wind causes accumulation of salt at the surface of the soil that makes the site unsuitable for mangroves. The extent of plant cover also has a significant influence on evaporative losses from the mangrove community (Hutchings and Saenger, 1987). According to Hutchings and Saenger (1987) at any particular point in the intertidal soil salinity gradient can be directly related to – 5

Salinity of tidal waters


Time interval between inundations




The rate of evaporation


Retention properties of soil


Run on minus run off.

In Bangladesh, salinity of Sundarbans has been raised due to reduced fresh water flow in the Ganges. This problem followed the construction of the Farakka barrage to withdraw water from the Ganges. In addition, to overcome the problem of dry-season saline water intrusion and to protect human settlements and crops from the seawater and storms, a 3,200 km stretch of embankments was constructed along the coast of Bay of Bengal (Carpenter, 1983).

This has further reduced the fresh water flow in the rivers by reducing catchment area of the rivers and the volume of run on water. Eventually, salinity of Sundarbans soil along with the southern part of Bangladesh has risen gradually. 2.2 IMPACTS OF INCREASED SALINITY ON MANROVE: WITH PARTICULAR REFFERENCE TO THE SUNDARBANS Presence of salt is a critical factor for the development of mangrove ecosystems. At lower intensities it favors the development of mangroves eliminating more vigorous terrestrial plants which other wise could compete with. On the contrary at increased level it might cause overall degradation of mangroves. According to Waisel (1972) salinity is the specific dominant factor in the saline environment, which determines, to a great extent the ability of mangroves to reproduce and perpetuate their existence. Salinity affects plant growth in a variety of ways: 1) by limiting the availability of water against the osmotic gradient, 2) by reducing nutrient availability, 3) by causing accumulation of Na+ and Cl- in toxic concentration causing water stress conditions enhancing closure of stomata, reduced photosynthesis (Waisel, 1972). Salinity is also a controlling factor for seedling recruitment and the relation is negatively proportional. Siddiqi (2001) noted reduced recruitment of sundri and gewa seedling in the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest with increased salinity. Ball and Pidsley (1995) observed adverse impact of increased salinity on canopy development, leaf initiation, and leaf area expansion in S. alba and S. lanceolata. Salinity, therefore, greatly influences the overall growth and productivity of the mangroves (Das and Siddiqi, 1985). The impact of increased salinity in the Sundarbans is great since it controls the distribution of species and productivity of the forest considerably (Das and Siddiqi, 1985). Due to increase in salinity, Heritiera fomes (sundri) is no longer common in the Indian Sundarbans. The primary cause for top-dying of the species is believed to be the increasing level of salinity (Balmforth, 1985; and Chaffey et al., 1985; Shafi, 1982). In the Sundarbans, the western part is more saline, which do not bear tall, and dense vegetation coverage. Rather it has been occupied by less economic dwarf trees like Exoecaria agallocha (gewa) etc. Besides the production of sundri and Nypa

fruiticans (golpatta) all over the Sundarbans have been declined due to increased salinity. 2.3 NEED FOR STUDYING SALINITY REGIME In Bangladesh mangrove ecosystems are in a degrading state, for example NCC areas in the Sundarbans are increasing. There are huge lands in the coastal areas that do not support any tree growth.

Fig.2.1. A general view of degraded mangroves where A. officinalis is naturally rehabilitating

Fig.2.2. Self rehabilitation of A. officinalis in Karamjal NCC land.

On economic and environmental ground, it is important for Bangladesh to bring such areas under productive tree cover. Here lies the importance of studying salt tolerance of various mangroves. FAO (1994) stressed that in mangrove afforestation and rehabilitation program where matching species to site is required, the salinity range for optimum plant growth and regeneration for any species is more useful than its wider ecological survival limit. Yeo and Flowers (1980) have emphasized that the phenomenon of growth response to an increase in salinity should be considered quite separately from the tolerance to extreme salinity, which must be considered to be much higher than the optimal salinity for growth. 2.4 IMPORTANCE OF A. officinalis and A. corniculatum IN MANGROVE ECOSYSTEM: A. Officinalis is the second important pioneer species, after S. apetala, in Sundarbans mangrove forest, which have the characteristics of high salt tolerance, ability to grow on coarser substrate. Among mangrove species A. officinalis is the most salt tolerant, it can adjust to about 90 ppt (Cintron et al., 1978). For the rehabilitation of ecologically degraded areas that may be hyper saline, it is prudent to use A. officinalis as filling up the breaking coverage. Artificial regeneration of A. officinalis in the vacant areas of the Sundarbans was tried on experimental basis. Its growth in fenced area protected from deer, was satisfactory (mean seedling height being 1.3 m in two years; Siddiqi, 1996) Therefore, Avicennia species may be an important component of coastal shoreline afforestation program and is particularly suitable for Bangladesh where the soil and water salinity is increasing day by day specially in dry season. Thus, it is important to critically investigate the impact of salinity on growth of A. officinalis. A. corniculatum can be used in under planting old coastal plantations. Bangladesh has pioneered in raising world’s largest artificial mangrove forest in which Sonneratia apetala constitutes almost 95% but are severely infested by the borer Zeuzera conferta. To replace of S. apetala plantations could be under planted with A. corniculatum to ensure sustainability of the plantations.

2.5 Avicennia and Aegiceras in Bangladesh. 2.5.1 Avicennia spp. A. officinalis, A. marina, A. alba are the members of the family Avicenniaceae found in the mangroves of Bangladesh. These species represent a pioneer genus in mangrove succession; occur in association with the sea grass Porteresia coarctata. Avicennia also occur in gregarious forms along stretches of channels and creeks (Chaudhuri and Choudhury, 1994). It occurs in the inner part of the Sundarbans, usually on moist depressions (Siddiqi, 1994) and is dominant in the riverine site where the soil is sandy and the salinity is high (Pal et al., Siddiqi, 2001). Among the three, A. officinalis is dominant, found on the land ward border (Quimpany et al., 1987). In the coastal afforestation program in Bangladesh A. officinalis is the second principle species, constitutes about 20% of the growing stock (Das and Siddiqi, 1985). A. marina, is available in Sundarbans (Das and Siddiqi, 1985) and found in the lower parts of tidal flats (Banerjee, 1987) on hard substratum or soft sediment (Ross and Underwood, 1997). It is the most salt tolerant mangrove species, able to grow on soils with salinity up to 90 ppt (Cintron et al., 1978). In Moheshkhali and Cox’s Bazar A. merina has formed almost pure patches under the plantation of A. officinalis in the seaward side. A. alba is also found in small number in the Sundarbans as well as Chokoria Sundarbans (Das and Siddiqi, 1985). This species is dominant in upper parts of the tidal flats (Banarjee, 1987), sediments containing Ca / Mg (Navalkar and Bharucha, 1950) and of high salinity (Pal et al., 1996). Among Avicennia spp the growth of A. officinalis is most satisfactory especially in eastern parts of the shoreline of Bangladesh. The other species are found in limited areas of the eastern part where soil salinity ranges from 25-35 ppt. in dry season. The growth of A. marina is higher than A. alba but lower than that of A. officinalis (Siddiqi, 2001). Growth performance of these three species in different parts of Bangladesh is presented in table 1.

Table 1: Growth performances of Avicennia officinalis, A. marina and A. alba along the shoreline of Bangladesh. Location


Age (year)

Char Kashem Char Kukri-

A. officinalis A. officinalis

12 13

Mukri Char Osman Boga Chattar Bandar Hali Shahar Boga Chattar Hali Shahar

A. officinalis A. officinalis A. officinalis A. officinalis A. marina A. marina

Grokghata Bandar Grokghata

Mean height





MAI of dbh


height (m)



6.89 8.42

0.53 0.65

12.22 16.09

0.94 1.24

14 11 13 9 11 9

9.30 5.30 4.41 3.70 5.82 3.21

0.66 0.48 0.34 0.41 0.53 0.36

14.99 10.59 8.82 4.16 13.21 4.02

1.07 0.96 0.68 0.46 1.12 0.45

A. marina






A. alba A. alba

13 10

4.16 4.67

0.32 0.47

5.56 6.68

0.80 0.68

dbh = Diameter at breast height (1.3m), MAI =Mean annual increment, Source: Siddiqi and Khan (1990)

2.5.2 Aegiceras corniculatum: A. corniculatum is found mainly on the riverbanks of the Sundarbans. It grows usually in the reclaimed area along the embankment and edges of the creeks. In the Sundarbans it is found mostly on western part of the forest (Troup, 1921). The species has a good prospect for under planting in Sonneratia plantations. It is also planted for canal bank stabilization in Australia (Latif, 1996). Taxonomic details of A. officinalis and A. corniculatum are presented in the following paragraphs. 2.6 DETAILS OF Avicennia officinalis and Aegiceras corniculatum 2.6.1 Avicennia officinalis A. officinalis (Linn. 1953.) has a wider distribution from south Indo-Malaya to New Guinea and eastern Australia (Tomlinson, 1994). It occurs only as scattered, isolated

trees, mainly in the high saline areas of the Sundarbans. It prefers the temperature range from 20º to 31ºC, absolute humidity 70%-90 %, mean annual rainfall from 2540 ml per annum mostly moonsonic (Zabala, 1990). It is a small to medium sized tree, usually 10 to 13 m in height (in the Sundarbans) but may attain greater height up to 20 m in suitable places (Das and Siddiqi, 1985; Siddiqi, 2001). The Indian part of Sundarbans, the diameter of the tree does not exceed 25 cm (Blasco, 1975). It is very slow growing and becomes crooked at higher age. Old trees have wide spreading crown and are usually hollow and rotten (Das and Siddiqi, 1985). Bark is smooth, lenticellate, light colored (Tomlinson, 1994). The pneumatophores are thin and finger like and covered with numerous lenticels (Das and Siddiqi, 1985). Pneumatophore develops within two years after the anchorage of the seedlings (Siddiqi, 2001). Short aerial roots may project from the trunk (Das and Siddiqi, 1985; Tomlinson, 1994). Occasionally knee roots also develop. A. officinalis is mainly used as fuel wood and anchor logs. Leaves are good fodders for the cattle (Siddiqi, 2001, Blasco, 1975). The leaves are obovate (Tomlinson, 1994; Das and siddiqi, 1985), ovate-elliptic (Das and Siddiqi, 1985), or elliptic-oblong, with a rounded apex, 4-12.5 cm long and 2-6 cm wide, dark green above and yellowish green or bluish grey beneath (Das and Siddiqi, 1985), contain salt glands (Tomlinson, 1994; Leshem and Levison, 1972). The inflorescences are head-like, with 2-12 small yellow flowers congested into a head, and the lowermost pair of flowers often distant from the others. A. officinalis flowers in May-June and seeds ripen in July-October in the Sundarbans. The species exhibits a certain degree of periodicity but the causes of periodicity are not clear (Hasan and Howlader 1970). The fruit is broadly ovate, densely short hairy, about 3 cm long, somewhat longer than wide, and with a short apical break (Tomlinson, 1994). Seeds germinate immediately after falling, or even in the tree (Nuruzzaman, 1982) that means it has prominent cotyledons and crypto-viviparity (Joshi et al., 1972; Naskar and Mandal, 1999). The propagules loss viability within few days when kept in air (Siddiqi, 2001).

Its seed producing ability is much more than other true

mangroves (Naskar et al., 1999).

It is a strong light demanding species like other pioneer species. In the seedling stage, it is shade tolerant to some extent. It prefers higher level of salinity but can also grow where salinity is low. The species requires frequent inundation and can grow satisfactorily below mean tide level. It coppices well, on suitable site new plants may develop from the coppices. For raising plantation of A. officinalis in the coastal areas, mature seeds are collected from the water. Germination starts within three days and 90% seeds germinate within 10 days. Gaps filling and replanting are often required to ensure successful and wellstocked plantation. The mean annual diameter increment for A. officinalis in the Sundarbans is 0.22 cm. However, in the plantation the growth rate is much higher, annual diameter increment being 1.24 cm and it grows to a height of 4-9 m in 11-14 years (Siddiqi and Khan, 1990). In terms of volume production mean increment in the Chittagong south area is 1.3-1.9 m3/ha/yr and in the Chittagong north area upto 6.9 m3/ha/yr (Drigo et al., 1987). A. officinalis from the Bangladesh Sundarbans are harvested on a 20 years felling cycle and the minimum exploitable diameter is 56 cm in site quality class I, 46 cm in class II and 36 cm in class III. 2.6.2 Aegiceras corniculatum: Aegiceras corniculatum L. (Blanco, 1937) is a large, evergreen shrub or a small tree with grey bark. It is common in the mangrove forests along tidal creeks, where it is frequently gregarious. It is one of the most widely distributed species, occurring at the mouth of the Indus, along both sides of the Indian peninsula, in the Sundarbans and along the coast of Chittagong, Arakan, Myanmar and the Andaman. Usually it grows on poor dry saline soil. In the swampy area of fresh water zone it can survive much satisfactorily (Naskar et al., 1987). The species exhibits cryptoviviparity, the seed germinate within the pericarp of the curved horn shaped fruit. The tree coppices well (Troup, 1921).

The fruits of A. corniculatum ripen in July-August in Sundarbans and when ripe they become light pinkish. The fruits are single seeded. One kg contains 1200-1500 fruits. Germination initiates within 3 weeks and continues upto 7 weeks of sawing. About 100% germination success is observed. A height of 30-40 cm was observed at 10 months after germination in polybag (Siddiqi, 2001) A. corniculatum has diffuse-porous wood with poorly defined growth rings. A. corniculatum is shade tolerant and can germinate both under shade and in open places (Naskar et al., 1987). A. corniculatum is very much restricted to the less saline zone (Naskar et al., 1987). But in the Sundarbans, it is found at the western part, which is more saline. It always grows in the brackish water zone where upstream fresh water mixes with tidal seawater. It acts as an indicator for identifying fresh water zone in the mangals (Naskar et al., 1987)

Aegiceras corniculatum can stand submersion in tidal water for longer period as it has salt gland and ultra filtration mechanism (Naskar et al., 1987). A. corniculatum have osmotic pressure of 4.3166 MPa against ostomatic pressures of their surrounding water of 0.9968 MPa (Naskar et al., 1987). A. corniculatum keep its salt glands within the concentration range of 0.2-0.5% NaCl. Hydrostatic or suction pressure and transpiration rate of the A. corniculatum is 2.5 mg/ dm3 /min and that for Avicennia marina is 6.5 mg/dm2 /min (Naskar et al, 1987). Net water use efficiency in A. corniculatum declines with increasing salinity. It maintains higher rates of water uptake and higher leaf area/plant mass ratios. The photosynthetic capacity of A. corniculatum decreases with increase in salinity from 50 to 500 millimolar NaCl. Stomatal conductance and photosynthetic capacity together limit the assimilation rate, which declines with increasing salinity and decreasing humidity (Ball et al., 1984) The aboveground biomass of A. corniculatum declines with increasing substratum salinity, whereas root/shoot ratios increases (Saintilan, 1997). In A. corniculatum growth is maximal in 25% seawater, and root respiration is lowest in 100% seawater but leaf respiration raises in both 25% and 100% seawater. The data stress that at high salinities there is a high metabolic cost in the shoots of the species and that at such salinities rates of root respiration may be limited due to the limited supply of photosynthates from the shoots (Burchett, 1989). A. corniculatum is of great potential for natural waste water treatment, and are unlikely to produce any harmful effect on the higher plant communities (Wong, 1997) The wood of A. corniculatum is used only as fuel and as framework for huts (Blasco, 1975). Berger and Meindersman (1922) have classified A. corniculatum as 3rd class of fuel wood (Chapman, 1975). The fishermen use the bark of A. corniculatum as fishpoison (Blasco, 1975). It contains about 7.8% saponin and some resin (Naskar et al., 1987). Flowers of this species produce best quality of honey in the Sundarbans (Naskar et al., 1987).

2.7 PROSPECTS OF Avicennia officinalis and Aegiceras corniculatum IN

BANGLADESH: A. officinalis has been planted in the vacant areas of the Sundarbans with satisfactory performance. Presently 10% of the Sundarbans (6000 km2) are vacant or supporting NCC and previous data exhibit that it is increasing. In addition, almost the entire Chakoria Sundarbans (85.5 km2) has been deforested over the last couple of decades. Again in the coastal areas of Bangladesh there are huge chunks of vacant areas which are only occasionally flooded by tidal water. A. officinalis could be important species to rehabilitate these mangrove areas. Again every year 35 km2 of new accretions appear in the coast of Bangladesh (Mc Chonchie, 1990) of which a considerable part is well suited for A. officinalis (Siddiqi, 2001). Thus, in the process of mangrove rehabilitation and raising mangrove plantations, which is extremely important for Bangladesh on economic and environment ground, A. officinalis will continue to be a preferred species. In the context discussed above, it can be concluded that despite lower value as timber resources, A. officinalis will remain a valuable species in Bangladesh. A. corniculatum has no economic use other than its contribution to honey production. But this species along with some other minor mangrove species can be used in under-planting in coastal area, which will augment the succession and sustainability of that area. It can also be planted for canal bank stabilization. By producing honey the species contributes in rural development.

CHAPTER 3: MATERIALS AND METHODS One year old seedlings of A. officinalis and two month old seedlings of Aegiceras

corniculatum were collected from the nursery at Dobeki in the Sundarbans. A rubber pipe was air tightly attached to the narrower end of a bottle shaped plastic pipe and kept inverted during experiment. The plastic pot was partially filled with 700 cc coarse sand (as a substrate for rapid water conduction). A 150 L stock solution (1/2 strength Hoagland solution) was made as a nutrient source for seedlings. The nutrient solution was poured into the bottle. Twelve healthy seedlings of A. officinalis and sixteen of A. corniculatum were selected and the ball of earth at the root was washed away by running water. Bare rooted seedlings were grown in pots prepared as above. For one week Subirrigation with tap water was carried out through the rubber pipe attached at the bottom of the pot. Seedlings were kept in shade for a week for hardening. From the following week along with nutrient solution, different concentrations of sodium chloride (NaCl) solutions (0 to 15 ppt in case of A. officinalis and 0 to 20 ppt incase of A. corniculatum at 5 ppt interval) were applied and justified with salinity refractometer. Prepared solutions were poured into pots and the level of the solutions was marked with a permanent marker. The experiment pots were kept open all day long. To maintain uniform salinity, every day the level of solution in the bottle was checked and corrected twice daily by adding fresh water. The solutions were flushed out and renewed weekly and the heights of the seedlings were recorded.

The each treatment was carried out in three and four replications respectively and each replication contained one seedling only. Comparisons of all growth indices were made with Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) followed by a Correlation Least Significant Differences (LSD) tests. The whole experiments were carried out within four months (a short-term experiment) from 15th November to 5th March. Table 2. Chemical constitutions in 1/2 strength Hoagland nutrient solution. Salt KNO3 Ca(NO3)2 NH4H2PO4 MgSO4. 7H2O H3BO3 MnCl2. 4H2O CuSO4. 5H2O ZnSO4. 7H2O H2MoO4. H2O FeSO4.7H2O 0.25% Tartaric acid 0.2%

Gm/liter 102 49.2 23.07 49.088 0.286 0.181 0.0085 0.0226 0.0096 0.3 ml/liter ( 3 × weekly)

CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 4.1 RESULTS: The only quantitative measure of the development of the responses to the treatments is provided by records of the height of the seedlings. Summarized data is presented in tables. Analysis of the data reveals the followings for each species: 4.1.1. A. officinalis The average height growth of seedlings varied significantly with varying concentration of salt. (F= 5.005, df 2, 9; P < 0.05). A strongly positive correlation was also observed between the level of salinity and growth of the seedlings (r = 0.977; P < 0.005). Maximal growth was found in 15 ppt. Table 3: Seedlings height growth in relation to salinity for A. officinalis Salinity

Seedlings growth in height (cm)

(ppt) Initial


Net height Net height

height (cm)

height (cm)



30 33 30

32.5 35.3 33.2

(cm) 2.5 2.3 3.2

(%) 8.33 6.96 10.66

25.5 29.5 43.5

28.3 32.5 47

2.8 3 3.5

10.98 10.16 8.04

5.3 3.2 4.5 3.7 6.5 5.6

15.14 11.03 12.5 12.33 16.66 13.02



Avg. net height growth (%)

35 40.3 29 32.2 10 36 40.5 30 33.7 39 45.5 15 43 48.6 NB: Each replication contained one seedling.


Average net

net height



growth (%)



8.65 ±1.08


9.72 ± 0.87


12.89 ± 1.20


14 ±1.34

18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 0


10 Salinity (ppt)


Fig: 4.1.1 Seedlings height growth in relation to salinity for A. officinalis The rising curve shows that growth would increase with further increase in salinity. Therefore, the study indicates that A. officinalis could be an obligate halophyte and is a very tolerant to strong salinity. Teas (1977 and 1979) also observed A. officinalis to be an obligate halophyte. Accordance with Chapman (1960), Adams (1963), and Webb (1966) the growth of obligate halophytes can be stimulated by NaCl. Any other similar studies for A. officinalis could not be traced for comparison. However, with a marina (Connor, 1969; Clarke and Hannon, 1970 and Ball, 1981) observed maximum seedling growth in 50% sea water (salinity about 17.5 ppt). 

A. corniculatum:

The growth of a. corniculatum did not vary significantly with increasing level of salinity (F=0.253; df=3, 12; p>0.05). However the curve indicates that the growth was enhanced between 5ppt and 10 ppt and then it started to decrease. Maximal growth was observed in 10 ppt. Optimum salinity range for the species appears to be around 10 ppt. The result for A. corniculatum is consistent with the experimental work of Burchett et al., (1989). They found the maximum growth for A. corniculatum in 25% sea water (about ppt). As the growth of the species increases with increase in salinity at a certain level therefore, A. corniculatum also could be considered as an obligate halophyte. According to Glenn and 0’Leary (1984), these two obligate halophytes can also be classified in another way considering their salinity level for maximum growth. In this case, A. officinalis would be classified as a euhalophyte as their growth maximizes at 15 ppt salinity or more and A. corniculatum would be a miohalophyte as their growth maximizes at 15 ppt.

Table 4: Seedling height growth in relation to salinity for A. corniculatum Salinity (ppt)

Seedlings growth in height (cm) Initial height (cm) 09.0 11.0 07.5 07.3 09.0 07.2 08.3 08.0 06.5 06.6 07.4 07.5 09.0 10.0 07.6 08.3

0 ppt

5 ppt

10 ppt

15 ppt

Final height (cm) 13.1 21.3 17.5 14.2 14.0 10.4 18.5 18.0 18.2 18.6 13.0 09.0 16.8 18.8 15.3 15.7

Net height growth (cm) 04.1 10.3 10.0 06.9 05.0 03.2 10.2 10.0 11.7 12.0 05.6 01.5 07.8 08.8 07.7 07.4

Net height growth (%) 45.55 93 133 94.52 55.55 44.44 122.89 125 180 181 75.6 20 86.6 88 101.3 89.1

Average net height growth (cm)

Average net height growth (%)


91.5 ±17.9


86 ± 21.47


114.6 ± 40


91.25 ± 3.4

Avg. net height growth (%)

NB: Each replication contained one seedling.

180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 0




Salinity (ppt)

Fig. 4.1.2 - Seedling height growth in relation to salinity for A. corniculatum 4.2 DISCUSSION: The result for both the species also consistent with their natural distributions. Due to higher salt tolerance, A. officinalis is found in Indian Sundarbans as a pioneer species

where salinity is higher. This species also found in the higher salinity areas of Bangladesh Sundarbans. In the estuaries of Australia where both species occur, their distribution overlaps but is distinguishable. A. corniculatum extends further upstream, while Avicennia extends further to the mouth of the river and occasionally to the ocean front (Galloway, 1982; Hutchings and Saenger, 1987) In mixed stands at intermediate salinities A. corniculatum often forms a shrub layer behind a fringe of Avicennia. It is assumed that where this happens the A. corniculatum is receiving a fresh water input from the landward side which tends to leach out salt deposited from the brackish tidal flow. This distribution has been attributed to a lower salinity tolerance in A. corniculatum (Burchett et al., 1989). Findings of this study suggest that for planting or rehabilitating highly salt affected areas A. officinalis would be suitable. For rehabilitating less saline mangrove areas A. corniculatum would be recommended. 4.3. LIMITATION OF THE STUDY: 3

The experiment failed to determine the optimum and maximum range of salt tolerance of A. officinalis as salinity beyond 15 ppt NaCl were not applied.


Sample size was small as it was difficult to collect enough suitable seedlings.


Leaf and biomass production were not brought under account.


Further study is required with more replications.


Further study is required for growth of A. corniculatum from 5 ppt to 15 ppt. at 2 ppt intervals. 13

In case of A. officinalis the salinity range should extend up to 35 ppt to

determine the optimum and maximum level of salinity for growth.

REFERENCES Adams, D. A. 1963. Factors influencing vascular plant zonation in North Carolina salt marshes. Ecology 44, 445-456 pp Ball, Mc; Farquhar D. 1984. Photosynthetic and stomatal responses of two mangrove species, Aegicerus corniculatum and Avicennia marina, to long term salinity and humidity conditions. Plant-Physiology, 74: 1, 1-6 Ball, M.C., and Pidsley, S.M. 1995. Growth responses to salinity in relation to distribution of two mangrove species, Sonneratia alba and Sonneratia lanceolata in Northern Australia. Functional Ecology, 9:77-85. Balmforth, E.B. 1985. Observations on sundri top dying-descriptive sampling in the Sundarbans Reserved Forest. Draft Working Paper of UNDP/FAO Project BGD/79/017. 32pp. Banarjee, L.K. 1987. Ecological studies on the mangals in the Mahanadi estuarine delta, Orissa, India. Tropical ecology, 28: 1, 117-125 pp. Blasco, F. 1975. The Mangroves of India. Institute Francais de pondichery. Trans. Sec. Sci. Tech. Vol. 14: 144 pp. Bowman. 1917. In : Hoque, A. K. F. 1995. Mangrove regeneration and management. Mimeograph. Burchett, Md.; Clarke, C.J.; Pulkownik A. 1989. Growth and respiration in two mangrove species at a range of salinities. Physiologia-Plantarum. 75: 2, 299303. Carpenter, R. A. 1983. Natural systems for development: what planners need to know. Macmillan Publishing Company, a division of Macmillan Inc., New York. Cintron, G., Lugo, A. E., Pool, D. J., and Morris, G. 1978. Mangroves of arid environments in Puerto Rico and adjacent islands. Biotropica, 10: 110-21 pp.

Chaffey, D.R., Miller, F.R. and Sandom, J.H. 1985. A forest Inventory Project, Bangladesh: Main Report. Overseas Development Administration, England.196 pp. Chapman, V.J. 1960. Salt Marshes and Salt deserts of the World, 322 pp. Leonard Hill Books Ltd., London. Chapman, V.J. 1975. Mangrove Vegetation. Straus and Cramer Gmbh, 690. leulershausen. Chaudhuri, A.B. and Choudhury, A. 1994. Mangroves of the Sunderbans. Volume one: India, IUCN-The World Conservation Union, Bankok, Thailand. Das, S. and Siddiqi, N.A. 1985. The Mangroves and Mangrove forest of Bangladesh. Mangrove Silviculture Division, Bulletin No. 2, Bangladesh Forest Research Institute, Chittagong.mangrove plantations of the coast al afforestation project. UNDP Project BGD/85/085,Dhaka. Field document NO. 2. 69 pp. Davis, J.H. 1940. Jr. The Ecology and Geological Role of Mangroves in Florida. Pap. Tortugas Lab.,32: 303-412. Drigo, D., Latof, M.A., Chowdhury, J.A., and Shaheduzzaman, M. 1987. The Maturing Mangrove Plantayions of the Coastal Afforestation Project. UNDP Project BGD/85/085, Dhaka. Field Document NO. 2. 69 pp. FAO, 1994. Mangrove forest management guidelines. FAO Forestry paper, 117. Rome. Galloway, r. w. 1982. Distribution and physiographic patterns of Australian mangroves.- In Mangrove Ecosystems in Australia – Structure, Function and Management (B. F. Clough, ed), pp 31-45. ANU Press, Canberra. ISBN 0-70811170X.

Glenn, E. P. and O’Leary, J. W. 1984. Reletionship between salt accumulation and water content of dicotyledonous halophytes.-Plant Cell Environ. 7: 253-261. Hasan, S.M. and Howlader, N.I. 1970. Coastal afforestation in Noakhali district. Forestdate News, 2 (3):41-49. Hutchings, P. and Saenger, P. 1987. Ecology of mangroves. University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, London, New York. Joshi, G. V., Pimplaska, M., and Bhosale, L.J. 1972. physiological studies in germination of mangroves. Bot. Mar, 15: 9, 1-5. Latif, M.M.A. 1996. Evaluation of mangrove rehabilitation in sub-tropical and temperate Australian. A thesis submitted for the degree of Masters of Science of the Southern Gross University. Leshem, Y. and Levision, E. 1972. Regulation mechanisms in the salt mangrove Avicennia marina growing on the Sinai littoral.Ecol. Plant., 7:2, 167-176 pp. Naskar, K.R. and Mandal, R. 1999. Ecology and Biodiversity of Indian Mangroves. Naya publishing house, Delhi. 196 pp. Nuruzzaman, M. 1982. Creation of protection belt of forest along the coasts of the Bay of Bengal by raising keora and baen plantations and the techniques for their artificial regeneration. Proceedings of the Bangaladesh Second National Conference on Forestry, Dhaka. 159-169 pp. Pal, D., Das, A.K., Gupta, S.K., Sahoo, A.K. 1996. Vegetation pattern and soil characteristics of some mangrove forest zones of the Sunderbans, West Bengal. Indian-Agriculturist, 40: 2, 71-78 pp. Quimpang, V.T., Porquiz, H. C., Gurrea, L., Samaniego, L.A., and Ebuna, R.M. 1987. CMU Journal of Agriculture Food and Nutrition, 9: 1, 84-104 pp.

Ross, P., and Underwood, A.J. 1997. The distribution and abundance of barnacles in a mangrove forest. Australian Journal of Ecology, 22: 1, 37-47 pp. Saintilan, N.1997. Above and below ground biomass of mangroves in a sub-tropical estuary. Marine and Freshwater Research. 48:7,601-604 Shafi, M. 1982. Adverse effects of Farakka on the forests of southwest region of Bangladesh (Sundarbans). Proceeding of second national conference on forestry (January 12-26), Dhaka. 30-57 pp. Siddiqi, N.A. and Khan, M.A.S. 1990. Growth performance of mangrove trees along the coastal belt of Bangladesh. Mangrove Ecosystems Occasional Papers. No. 8 UNDP/UNESCO/RAS/86/120. Thomson Press, Delhi. 5-14 pp. Siddiqi, N.A., Shahidullah, M. and Shahjalal, M.A.H. 1994. Studies on Mosophytic and Mangrove Species in the Poorly Regenerated Areas of the Sundarbans. Bulletin 3, Mangrove Series. Bangladesh Forest Research Institute, Chittagong. 31 pp. Siddiqi, N.A. 2001. Mangrove Forestry In Bangladesh. Institute of Forestry and Environmental Science, University of Chittagong. 1-201 pp. Teas, H. J. 1979. In: Downton, W. J. S. 1982. Growth and Osmotic Relations of the Mangrove Avicennia marina, as influenced by Salinity. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, 519-28. Tomlinson, P.B. 1994. The Botany of Mangroves. Cambridge University Press. Troup, R.S. 1921. The Silviculture of Indian Trees. Oxford, Clarendon Press. Webb, K. L. 1966. NaCl effect on growth and transpiration in Salicornia Bigolovii, a salt marsh halophyte. Plant soil 24, 261-265. pp. Yeo, A.R. and Flower, T.J. 1980. Salt tolerance in the halophyte Suaeda maritime L. Dum: Evaluation of the effect of salinity upon growth. Jour. Exp. Bot. 31: 117118 pp.


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