Establishing a mangrove nursery
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Mangroves play an important role in creating habitats for a diverse community of organisms ranging from bacteria and fungi to fishes and mammals. They grow in intertidal flats, estuaries and offshore islands. In the Philippines, mangrove forests have dramatically decreased in area since the start of the century, and therefore there is a need to reforest. However, first mangrove nurseries must be established since they serve as sources of planting materials for different mangrove species. Furthermore, nurseries would mean a sustainable source of livelihood for coastal communities because of continuous demand for propagules. A brief account is given of procedures as to the establishment of a mangrove nursery, describing the construction of a nursery, preparation of potting materials, seed collection, seed sowing, and maintenance and protection. Details are provided of the most common true mangrove species in the Philippines. The mangrove nursery is a place for raising and tending seedlings until they are ready for permanent planting. The establishment of mangrove nurseries is in line with government s efforts to rehabilitate the coastal and mangrove ecosystems.