BIODIVERSITY OF MANGROVE IN BADAK LNG

Mangroves are ecosystems located in intertidal areas, namely areas along the coastline or the banks of rivers where strong interactions occur between marine, brackish, river, and terrestrial. Mangrove ecosystems are found in shallow bay beaches, estuaries, deltas, and protected coastal areas. Mangroves can be a good ecosystem if they are supported by three main conditions: brackish water, calm water flow, and relatively flat mud deposits. Mangroves live in the tropics and subtropics, especially at 25° North Latitude and 25° South Latitude.

Plants in mangrove ecosystem generally have certain morphological forms and physiological mechanisms as an adaptation of mangrove environment. The adaptation is related to reproductive system (propagul), loose and anoxic (anaerobic) soil, and high salinity. Mangrove plants are divided into three groups: major mangrove (Avicennia sp., Rhizophora sp.), minor mangrove (Excoecaria sp., Xylocarpus sp.), and associated mangrove (Pandanus sp., Acathus sp.).

Indonesia has ± 202 species of mangroves, including 89 species of trees, 5 species of palms, 19 species of lianas, 44 species of soil herbs, 44 species of epiphytes, and 1 species of fern. The most common types of mangroves found are bakau (Rhizhopora sp.), api-api (Avicennia sp.), bogem or pedada (Sonneratia sp.), and tancang (Bruguiera sp.).

Badak LNG has a mangrove conservation area located in Berbas Tengah which functioned as a buffer zone area. The composition of mangrove vegetation was dominated by Rhizophora apiculata Blume from Rhizophoraceae family. Rhizophora apiculata is also known as oil mangrove. Rhizophora apiculata is fast-growing mangroves with hard wood, breath roots, opposite leaf types, and could reaches 15 meters high. Rhizophora apiculata has many benefits: the wood is used for building materials, firewood, and charcoal, the root branches can be used as anchors, and the bark contains up to 30% tannins (percent dry weight) as dyes and adhesives.

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Mangrove forests have a great ecological function. Mangrove areas provide great environmental services, such as beach protectors from abrasion by waves and wind gusts, filters for seawater intrusion into the mainland, absorbers of harmful heavy metals and pollutants, microclimate regulators, and as carbon sources. Mangrove forests also act as habitats for various types of biota, a feeding ground, a spawning ground, a nursery ground, as well as a stopover for the migration of birds.

In addition to ecological functions, mangroves also have important economic and social functions in the development of coastal areas. More than 70 kinds of mangrove trees have been identified provide benefits for human interests. Various products are produced from mangroves, either directly or indirectly, including: fuel and building materials from wood, raw materials for food and beverages from fruit, medicines from leaves, fishes, and batik dyes. In addition, the mangrove ecosystem provides benefits to the community through coastal ecotourism activities.

Here are some of the animals which can be found in Badak LNG's mangrove area:
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Source: Mulawarman University and direct observation from Badak LNG (2021)
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