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Diversity 2018, 10(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/d10020020

Significance of Mangrove Biodiversity Conservation in Fishery Production and Living Conditions of Coastal Communities in Sri Lanka

1
Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
2
Centre for Mountain Ecosystem Studies, Kunming Institute of Botany, Kunming 650201, China
3
World Agroforestry Centre, East & Central Asia Regional Office, Kunming 650201, China
4
Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Rajarata University, Mihintale 50300, Sri Lanka
5
Institute of Biology/Geobotany and Botanical Garden, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Am Kirchtor 1, 06108 Halle, Germany
6
Department of Community Ecology, Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 4, 06120 Halle, Germany
7
German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
8
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Colombo, Colombo 00300, Sri Lanka
9
World Agroforestry Centre, East & Southern Africa Region, 13 Elm Road, Woodlands, Lusaka 10101, Zambia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 February 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 30 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mangrove Ecology and Conservation)
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Abstract

Sri Lanka is an island nation where ~59% of the population live in coastal regions. The main income source in these areas is fishing, which contributes to ~44% of the national GDP. Fishery resources depend on mangroves, especially in estuaries and lagoons, as mangroves provide the best nursery grounds for both brackish and marine species that are significant for the island’s fishing industry. However, growing pressures from an increasing population and development are causing substantial damage to mangroves resulting in loss of mangrove diversity. We analyzed whether variation in mangrove diversity within a lagoon system affects fishery production and livelihoods. Along the lagoon we selected three sites, which were 5 km apart from each other, for the survey. We used three 50 m long transects at each site for faunal and floral diversity assessments. The fishery catch was recorded from three crafts in each side. The socio-economic survey was conducted in 30 households per site using a standard questionnaire. In the site with the highest floral and faunal diversity, we also recorded the highest fish catch, but not the highest crab or shrimp catches. Our results confirm that higher mangrove diversity—and not just area—supports higher income generation. Thus, future development should prioritize biodiversity conservation in coastal regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: coastal development; conservation; governance; fishery; lagoons; livelihood diversity; mangrove fauna; mangrove flora; socio-economics; Sri Lanka; tropics coastal development; conservation; governance; fishery; lagoons; livelihood diversity; mangrove fauna; mangrove flora; socio-economics; Sri Lanka; tropics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Sarathchandra, C.; Kambach, S.; Ariyarathna, S.C.; Xu, J.; Harrison, R.D.; Wickramasinghe, S. Significance of Mangrove Biodiversity Conservation in Fishery Production and Living Conditions of Coastal Communities in Sri Lanka. Diversity 2018, 10, 20.

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