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9 J. Mgmt. & Sustainability 1 (2019)
Issue 1

handle is hein.journals/jms9 and id is 1 raw text is: 

                                                   Journal of Management and Sustainability; Vol. 9, No. 1; 2019
                                                                        ISSN 1925-4725 E-ISSN 1925-4733
                                                        Published by Canadian Center of Science and Education

  Mangrove Spatial Distribution in the Indian Sundarbans: Predicting

               Salinity-Induced Migration in a Changing Climate

         Anirban Mukhopadhyay1, David Wheeler2, Susmita Dasgupta3, Ajanta Dey4 & Istiak Sobhan3
1School of Oceanographic Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, USA
3 World Bank, Washington, DC, USA

'Nature Environment & Wildlife Society, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Correspondence: Susmita Dasgupta, Development Research Group, World Bank, Washington, DC, USA. E-mail:
sdasgupta ttworldbank.org

Received: November 12, 2018     Accepted: December 6, 2018     Online Published: January 24, 2019
doi: 10.5539/jms.v9nlp1     URL: https://doi.org/10.5539/jms.v9nlpl

This study contributes to understanding the physical and economic impacts of progressive, climate-driven
aquatic salinization on the spatial distribution of mangrove species in the Indian Sundarbans, which accounts for
about two-fifths of the 10,200 km2 tidal-wetland forest delta. To estimate future mangrove distribution, a
five-step analysis was undertaken, using high-resolution spatial assessments. A current (2015) basemap and
overlays of salinity tolerance for major mangrove species and their assemblages and projected location-specific
aquatic salinity for 2050 were used to predict salinity-induced migration. The results show gain-and-loss patterns,
with salt-tolerant species predominating at the expense of freshwater species. These changes are likely to reduce
the flow of ecosystem services, adversely affecting the livelihood options of poor people in adjacent areas.
Effective management will require establishing baseline data for monitoring system changes over time, protocols
for maintaining species health, and support for mangrove regeneration and restoration. Resources should also be
directed to alternative livelihoods for mangrove-dependent households. The study recommends an integrated
policy approach, focused on rising salinity, changes in mangrove dynamics, and the welfare of
mangrove-dependent communities.
Keywords: aquatic salinization, climate change, high-resolution assessment, mangrove-dependent livelihood,
mangrove migration, spatial distribution, Sundarbans
1. Introduction
The mangrove ecosystems of the Sundarbans-the world's largest remaining contiguous mangrove forest
situated along coastal segments of Bangladesh (60 percent) and India (40 percent) in the Bay of Bengal-are at
increasing risk from the impacts of climate-driven sea-level rise. In this 10,200 km2 tidal-wetland forest delta, as
in other globally important mangrove forests, sea-level rise may even threaten the survival of mangrove species.
In the past, mangroves have shown considerable resilience to sea-level fluctuations (Alongi, 2002, 2008; Gilman
et al., 2006; Erwin, 2009); however, their future rate of adaptation and migration may not keep pace (Ellison &
Stoddart, 1991; Semeniuk, 1994; United Nations Environment Programme, 1994; McLeod & Salm, 2006; Lange
et al., 2010). In the case of the Sundarbans, the extent of permanent inundation is uncertain since sedimentation
is still occurring in the active Ganges-Brahmaputmra Delta. That said, climate-driven sea-level rise will inevitably
have significant implications for the many poor people who depend on the mangrove forest for their livelihoods.
(Note 1)
1.] Challenges to Healthy Mangroves in the Sundarbans
In the Sundarbans, the two greatest threats to the health of mangroves in a changing climate are progressive
aquatic salinization and shortage of nutrients from freshwater flows (Dasgupta, Kamal, Khan, Choudhury, &
Nishat, 2015a; Dasgupta, Hossain, Huq, & Wheeler, 2015b; Institute of Water Modeling, 2003; Peterson &
Shireen, 2001; Soil Resources Development Institute, 2000, 2010; United Kingdom Department of Environment,
Food & Rural Affairs, 2007). It is expected that alteration of riverine flows from the Himalayas, combined with
sea-level rise, will intensify salinity intrusion as climate change continues (Dasgupta et al., 2015a, b; Dasgupta et

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