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Effects of salt making on growth and stocking of mangrove forests of south western Indian Ocean coast in Tanzania

Abdala Salum Liingilie, Charles Kilawe, Anthony Kimaro, Chripinus Rubanza, Elvis Jonas


Sustainability of mangrove forest is threatened by the ongoing high extent of degradation due to salt extraction. Information is lacking on the impact of degradation on growth and stocking of the mangrove forests in the tropical region including Tanzania. A study was carried out to identify destructive activities due to salt production and their effects on growth and stocking of mangrove species in Lindi municipality along the southern coast of the western Indian Ocean coast in Tanzania.  Semi-structured interviews were randomly administered among 123 randomly selected salt pan owners and salt workers to identify the activities involved in salt making.  Effects of salt making activities on growth and stocking of mangrove species were assessed using a transect walk. Results revealed that the most involved activities in salt production were construction of ocean water reservoirs (21.14%), salt pans (35.8%) and salt pans pathways construction (15.45%), salt storage area (14.63%) and huts construction (13.1%). Mangrove basal area and stocking were lower in areas with salt making activities with 0.74 m2/ha and 110 m2/ha respectively compared to areas without salt making activities (4.1m2/ha) and (266 m2/ha). We can conclude that salt making poses threat on the sustainability of mangrove forestry ecosystem.

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