Resource Details

Human hydrographical changes interact with propagule predation behaviour in Sri Lankan mangrove forests

Literature: Journal Articles

Dahdouh-Guebas, F., Koedam, N., Satyanarayana, B. & Cannicci S. 2011. “Human hydrographical changes interact with propagule predation behaviour in Sri Lankan mangrove forests” Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, vol. 399, pp. 188–200.

Contact Info

Corresponding author:


  • Laboratory of Complexity and Dynamics of Tropical Systems, Department of Organism Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles — ULB, CP 169, Avenue F.D. Roosevelt 50, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
  • Laboratory of Plant Biology and Nature Management, Mangrove Management Group, Faculty of Sciences and Bio-Engineering Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel — VUB, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
  • Department of Evolutionary Biology ‘Leo Pardi’, Faculty of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences, Università degli Studi di Firenze — UNIFI, Via Romana 17, I-50125 Firenze, Italy


Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology

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Species Info

  • Avicennia officinalis
  • Excoecaria agallocha
  • Lumnitzera racemosa
  • Rhizophora apiculata
  • Rhizophora mucronata
  • Bruguiera gymnorrhiza


  • The article describes the relation between propagule predators and both vegetation structure and environmental factors on a forest patch level and how those interactions are affected by human influence.
  • In different mangrove forest patches, the predation by crabs, snails, insects and mammals on propagules of A. officinalis, B. gymnorrhiza, R. apiculata and R. mucronata was monitored in a total of 24 experimental plots (3 per forest patch) and related to environmental factors such as topography, water level, rainfall, and season.
  • Rainfall data for Galle and Chilaw were collected for the period 1948–1999 and used it to study the relationship between lagoon water level and rainfall with propagule predation and dispersion before and after the construction of a raised path and dam.
  • The authors concluded from their results that propagule predation by grapsid crabs and snails is not an occasional phenomenon; the micro-topography and the local individual crab intensity plays a role in many of the observed differences among species and forest patches; and the extrapolation to past conditions indicates that the impact of dam construction was great enough to decrease the number of months with flooding.
  • The importance of spatial and temporal microhabitat variations in opening multiple successional pathways in vegetation dynamics is illustrated, and is highly relevant for ecosystems with unpredictable or short-lived (20 years) patchy vegetation structures and microhabitats.




Geographical Region

  • South Asia
  • Ecosystems

  • Mangrove
  • Country

  • Sri Lanka
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