Discuss the causes of depletion of mangroves and explain their importance in maintaining coastal ecology. (150 words)

Causes of Depletion of Mangroves:

  • Large scale clearance of mangroves for agriculture, aquaculture and infrastructure development
  • Pollution from industries and human settlements, discharge of untreated sewage and solid waste
  • Over harvesting of mangrove resources like timber, charcoal and fish
  • Sea level rise and increased frequency of storms and floods

Importance of Mangroves in Maintaining Coastal Ecology:

  • Biodiversity: Mangroves act as a habitat for a wide range of plant and animal species, including fish, crustaceans, and birds
  • Coastal protection: Mangroves act as a natural barrier against storm surges, waves, and tsunamis, thus reducing coastal erosion and protecting settlements
  • Carbon sequestration: Mangroves store large amounts of carbon, thus helping to mitigate the effects of climate change
  • Water quality: Mangroves act as water filters and improve water quality by removing pollutants
  • Livelihood: Mangroves provide important resources for communities, including food, medicine, and fuel.
  • Climate change adaptation: Mangroves can act as a buffer against sea level rise and storm surges.

It’s important to recognize that mangroves are vital for coastal ecology and their depletion can have wide-ranging negative impacts on coastal communities and ecosystems. Hence, conservation and protection of mangroves is crucial for the sustainable management of coastal ecosystems.

Mind map notes for UPSC
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