Mangroves Importance

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The Importance of Mangroves in Ecosystem Services

Mangroves are coastal forest found in the tropic and subtropics, inhabiting saline tidal areas throughout the globe (Barbier et al. 2011). Although the definition of ecosystem services (ES) varies through literature, most studies recognize a relation between ecosystem functioning and anthropogenic interest. Interpreted by Vo et al. (2012), ecosystem services are “complex systems that provide multiple services and goods through natural and modified ecosystems that sustain and support human well-being,” ES can be divided into four categories, provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services. These services range from local to global scales such as carbon sequestration, storm protection
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2012). However, there is a persistent conflict between ecological and economic interest. Assigning value to ecosystem services is important for establishing distributional fairness, management, and sustainability (Costanza and Farber, 2002). These values can exemplify the importance of mangrove ecosystems to stakeholders and key decision makers. In Thailand, Barbier (2007), compared net economic returns per hectare of ecosystem services such as shrimp farming and storm protection. He found that the monentary values of these services ranged from hundredths to thousands of dollars per ha of forest. The amenities provided by mangroves are particularly significant to developing countries, where the value of ecosystem services outweigh the average household income (Barbier et al. 2011). Another ecosystem service that was measured regarding monetary value was coastal protection. Das and Vincent (1999), estimated the saved cost in damages after a cyclone hit in India. They predicted a significant reduction in the number of lives lost, as well as a decrease in the loss of livestock, property, agriculture, and fisheries. They found that per household those in villages protected by a mangrove forest had lower damages and therefore monetary …show more content…
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