American Journal of Marine Science
ISSN (Print): ISSN Pending ISSN (Online): ISSN Pending Website: Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Marine Science. 2020, 8(1), 30-37
DOI: 10.12691/marine-8-1-5
Open AccessArticle

Floral Distribution, Diversity and Ecology of Mangrove Forests in Mandaitivu and Arali, Sri Lanka

Ahalya Arulnayagam1,

1Department of Convergence Study on the Ocean Science and Technology, Korea Maritime and Ocean University, Busan, Republic of Korea

Pub. Date: September 28, 2020

Cite this paper:
Ahalya Arulnayagam. Floral Distribution, Diversity and Ecology of Mangrove Forests in Mandaitivu and Arali, Sri Lanka. American Journal of Marine Science. 2020; 8(1):30-37. doi: 10.12691/marine-8-1-5


Mangroves in the Northern parts of Sri Lanka has been understudied and often ignored by the ecologists due to several reasons. This paper contributes to the assessment of floristic diversity and community structure of mangrove forests in two sites in the Northern Province; Mandaitivu and Arali. Vegetation studies were undertaken with the use of 10m wide belt transect laid across the water-land gradient, within which, 5-7 quadrats were placed for floral identification (nMandaitivu=67, nArali=44). Subsurface water samples (n=57) from adjacent estuarine region were taken to assess environmental parameters. Ten true mangrove species of six families were identified altogether in both sites. Bruguiera cylindrica, Lumnitzera racemosa, Excoecaria agallocha and Avicennia marina showed higher niche width. Zonation exhibited Rhizophora in the fringing zone, Avicennia landward and the others in the mixed zone. Salinity in both areas were relatively high and showed a significantly positive correlation with mangrove abundance along with conductivity, tidal regime and pH. Despite of their important role in coastal dynamics, mangroves have been degraded due to anthropogenic activities, thus demanding actions for conservation in the future.

mangroves diversity Arali Mandaitivu distribution conservation

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Duke, N. C. (1992). Mangrove floristics and biogeography. (January 1992), 63-100.
[2]  Jayatissa, L. P., Dahdouh-Guebas, & Koedam, N. (2002). A review of the floral composition and distribution of mangroves in Sri Lanka. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 138(1), 29-43.
[3]  Rotich, B., Mwangi, E., & Lawry, S. (2016). Where Land Meets the Sea: Governance and tenure. Bogor, Indonesia: CIFOR; Washington, DC: USAID Tenure and Global Climate Change Program. This, (December).
[4]  Sippo, J. Z., Lovelock, C. E., Santos, I. R., Sanders, C. J., & Maher, D. T. (2018). Mangrove mortality in a changing climate: An overview. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 215(October), 241-249.
[5]  K.B. Ranawana. (2017). Mangroves of Sri Lanka. 368.
[6]  Subasinghe, U. (2015). Floral diversity of six mangrove forests along the northwestern coastline of wet , intermediate and dry climate zones of Sri Lanka. Wildlanka, 3(4), 184-194.
[7]  Karunathilake, K. M. B. C. (2003). Status of Mangroves in Sri Lanka. Journal of Coastal Development, 7(1), 5-9.
[8]  Gopalakrishnan, T., Kumar, L., & Mikunthan, T. (2020). Assessment of spatial and temporal trend of groundwater salinity in Jaffna Peninsula and its link to paddy land abandonment. Sustainability (Switzerland), 12(9).
[9]  Snedaker, S. C. (1986). The mangrove ecosystem: Research methods (Vol. 25).
[10]  Sreelekshmi, Suseela, Preethy, C. M., Varghese, R., Joseph, P., Asha, C. V., Bijoy Nandan, S., & Radhakrishnan, C. K. (2018). Diversity, stand structure, and zonation pattern of mangroves in southwest coast of India. Journal of Asia-Pacific Biodiversity, 11(4), 573-582.
[11]  Peet, R. K. (1975). Relative Diversity Indices. 56(2), 496-498.
[12]  Gamito, S. (2010). Caution is needed when applying Margalef diversity index. Ecological Indicators, 10(2), 550-551.
[13]  Levins, R. (1968). Evolution in Changing Environments. Science, 167(3924), 1478-1480.
[14]  Clarke, K. R., & Gorley, R. N. (2006). PRIMER v6: User Manual/Tutorial (Plymouth Routines in Multivariate Ecological Research). PRIMER-E.
[15]  Sreelekshmi, S., Nandan, S. B., Kaimal, S. V., Radhakrishnan, C. K., & Suresh, V. R. (2020). Mangrove species diversity, stand structure and zonation pattern in relation to environmental factors — A case study at Sundarban delta, east coast of India. Regional Studies in Marine Science, 35, 101111.
[16]  Smith, T. J. (1992). Forest structure. 41, 101-136.
[17]  Bastiaanssen, W. G. M., & Chandrapala, L. (2003). Water balance variability across Sri Lanka for assessing agricultural and environmental water use. Agricultural Water Management, 58(2), 171-192.
[18]  Arulnayagam, A. (2020). Floral distribution, abundance and diversity of mangroves in Sangupiddy , Kilinochchi , the northern coast of Sri Lanka. 01(01), 21-27.
[19]  Ellepola, G., & Ranawana, K. B. (2015). Panama Lagoon: A unique mangrove ecosystem in the east coast of Sri Lanka. Wetlands Sri Lanka, 2(1), 10-19.
[20]  Amarasinghe, M. D., & Perera, K. A. R. S. (2017). Ecological biogeography of mangroves in Sri Lanka. Ceylon Journal of Science, 46(5), 119.
[21]  Silva, M. De, & Silva, P. K. De. (1998). Status, diversity and conservation of the mangrove forests of Sri Lanka. Journal of South Asian Natural History, 3(1), 79-102.
[22]  Wijeratne, E. M. S., & Pattiaratchi, C. B. (2003). Sea Level Variability in Sri Lanka Waters. 15. Retrieved from
[23]  Prasanna, M. G. M., Ranawana, K. B., & Jayasuriya, K. M. G. G. (2019). Species composition, abundance and diversity of mangroves in selected sites in Amprara District in the east coast of Sri Lanka. Ceylon Journal of Science, 48(2), 169.