Mangrove Guidebook for Malaysia

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This guidebook is designed as an easy and practical field guide for those involved in the field management of mangroves, for students and those who are interested to learn more about mangrove plants. This guidebook uses simple descriptions and a lot of photos to help distinguish species more easily. Photos were taken from many locations in Malaysia over the last 10 years and through contribution from various experts.

Mangroves can be defined as woody vegetation types occurring in marine and brackish environment. They are restricted to the tidal zone, which is the strip of coast starting from the lowest low water level up to the highest high water level (spring tide).

Mangrove plants are generally divided into two groups, namely, i) True Mangrove Species and ii) Mangrove Associate Species. True mangrove species thrive mainly in a mangrove environment and do not extend into terrestrial plant communities and are morphologically, physiologically and reproductively adapted to saline, waterlogged and anaerobic condition. Generally, True Mangrove Species are categorized as ‘exclusive’ species that are limited to the mangrove environment and Mangrove Associate Species are categorized as ‘nonexclusive’ species that are mainly distributed in a terrestrial or aquatic habitat but also occur in the mangrove ecosystem.

Hence, this book has been split into two parts: part one highlights the True Mangrove Species, part 2 deals with Mangrove Associate Species. We hope the readers will find this guidebook helpful in identifying mangrove species in the field and will be inspired by the rich biodiversity of our mangroves. Dedicated botanists may refer to various reference books available for detail description of each species especially “Mangrove Guidebook for Southeast Asia” by Giesen et al. which is available for free download at the Food and Agriculture Organisation website.

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