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Point of (no) return? Vegetation structure and diversity of restored mangroves in Sulawesi, Indonesia, 14–16 years on

Djamaluddin, Rignolda; Fusi, Marco; Djabar, Brama; Evans, Darren; Holmes, Rachael; Huxham, Mark; O'Connell, Darren P.; Salzmann, Ulrich; Singleton, Ian; Tjoa, Aiyen; Trianto, Agus; Diele, Karen


Rignolda Djamaluddin

Marco Fusi

Brama Djabar

Darren Evans

Rachael Holmes

Darren P. O'Connell

Ulrich Salzmann

Aiyen Tjoa

Agus Trianto


Mangrove forests, benefitting millions of people, experience significant degradation. Global recognition of the urgency of halting and reversing this trend have initiated numerous restoration activities. Restoration success is typically evaluated by estimating mangrove survival and area restored, while diversity and structure of vegetation, as proxies for functional forests, are rarely considered. Here we assess mangrove species richness along sea-landward transects and evaluate restoration outcomes by comparing number of mangrove species, relative species abundance, biomass, diameter, and canopy cover in “Monoculture Reforestation”, “Mixed Species Regeneration” and adjacent “Reference” forest stands, 14 (Tiwoho site) and 16 years (Likupang site) after restoration activities took place. In the “Monoculture Reforestation” plots, mangrove diversity and structure still closely reflected the original restoration actions, with only one and two “new” species having established among the originally densely planted “foundation” species. In contrast, the “Mixed Species Regeneration” plots were more similar to the “Reference” plots in terms of tree diameter and canopy coverage, but species number, abundance and biomass were still lower. The trajectory of the “Mixed Species Regeneration” plots suggests their similarity with the “Reference” stands will increase over time, whereas such “smooth” transition is unlikely to happen in the planted “Monoculture Reforestation” stands, in the foreseeable future. Implementing frequent small-scale disturbances in restored forest management would increase stand structure and diversity, accelerating the establishment of a more natural, and likely more functional and resilient forest.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 3, 2023
Online Publication Date Jun 25, 2023
Publication Date 2023-09
Deposit Date Jul 3, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jul 3, 2023
Print ISSN 1061-2971
Electronic ISSN 1526-100X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 7
Article Number e13963
Keywords coastal management, mangrove forest, marine, regeneration, restoration


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