A Half-yearly Peer Reviewed Journal of Bangladesh Forest Research Institute

ISSN - Print: 1021-3279 | Online: -

Hie coastal environment of Bangladesh
is highly unstable due to direct exposure of
the wind and wave action of the Bay of
Bengal, Moreover, the lite and properties of
die coastal area is alway s at risk (Saenger and
Siddiqi 1993). The newly accreted coastal
lands are not .suitable for any land practices
except afforestation because of a number of
unpredictable geo-morphological changes,
viz. rapid accretion, sand smoothon ing,
sediment winnowing and rapid sillation or
sand dune movements (Das and Biddiqi
1985). Hie pneumatophores of coastal
plantation species spread up laterally and
persist within (he silt layer for a longer time
which also hasten the procedure of
depositing and fixing sills, and thus helps in
stabilization of lands (Siddiqi 2(MH).
Bangladesh is a pioneer country for coastal
plantations (Siddiqi 2001). It is believed that a
permanent green belt along the shoreline and
near the shore and offshore islands of
Bangladesh would considerable reduce the
losses incurred from Ute frequent cyclones
and tidal surges, 11 will abo increase forest
resources and provide ecological security to
the whole coastal area.


The Sundarbans of Bangladesh, facing the Bay ofBengal, is the largestsingle tract
mangrove forest of the world. This natural forest has three watersalinity zonessuch as
less saline zone, moderate saline zone and strong saline zone. Golpata (Nypafruticans),
a palm species, grows naturally in patches along the stable banks of the rivers in larger
proportionsin the lesssaline zone of the Sundarbans. Thisspecies has been widely used
by the people of the entire south-western part of the country for thatching dwelling
houses. Experimental plantations of this species were established in the newly
accreted lands along the banks of the rivers in three salinity zones of the Sundarbans to
study itssurvival and growth. Fourmonths old seedlingsraised in the nurserybed were
used. Data on survival and plant growth (average leaf length and leaf number) were
collected after every three months for a period of 30 months. The highest survival
(65.35%) and plant growth (leaf length 290.67 cm and leaf number 6.80) were observed
in the less saline zone and the lowest survival (11.54%) and plant growth (leaf length
74.01 cm and leaf number 4.62) in the strong saline zone. The study shows that though
golpata can be grown successfully in the lesssaline and moderate saline zones, it grows
betterin the lesssaline zone of the Sundarbans. However, golpata shouldnotbe planted
in an area where heavy siltation occurs.


The Sundarbans mangrove forest is well
known for its rich biodiversity and probably has
the maximum flora and fauna as compared to
other mangrove forests of the world. Prain (1903)
reported 334 plant species in the Sundarbans and
surrounding areas. It is a matter of concern that
there is a loss of biodiversity in the Sundarbans
mangrove forest. Sattar and Faizuddin (1998)
reported that one species of Briiguiera, that is
B. parviflora, has become extinct, and many other
plant species such as Luninitzera racemose,
Xylocarpus granatum, Aviceunia marina, Rhizophore
mucronate, R. apiculata, Kandelia candel, Excoecerie
indice, Cynometra remiflore and Amoora cuculate are
already threatened. Chaudhuri andNjiithani(1985)
did not mention the presence of B. parviflora in the
Indian part of Sundarbans but noted its presence
in the Andamans mangrove forests. It used to be
found associated with other mangrove species in
the Sundarbans on the bank of rivers and creeks
(Naskar and Guha Bakshi 1987). The timber of B.
parviflora is used as fishing pole and firewood. It is
also a fodder plantfor deer and other herbivorous

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