The structure and regeneration patterns of Mida Creek mangrove vegetation were studied along belt transects at 2 forest sites of Mida Creek (3°20′S, 40°00′E): Uyombo and Kirepwe. Based on the species importance values, the dominant mangrove tree species in Mida were Ceriops tagal (Perr.) C. B. Robinson and Rhizophora mucronata Lamk. Tree density varied from 1197 trees ha−1 at Kirepwe to 1585 trees ha−1 at Uyombo and mean tree height was higher at the former site compared to the latter. The size-class structure at both localities of Mida showed the presence of more small trees than large ones. Spatial distribution pattern of adults and juveniles varied greatly between sites and they showed a close to uniform pattern (Morisita's Index I0 ≪ 1) for trees, but a tendency to random distribution (I0 = 1) for juveniles. The present paper shows that unmanaged but exploited mangroves do not necessarily disappear, but change qualitatively from locally preferred R. mucronata to the less preferred C. tagal. Whereas the effects of this change on the ecological function of the mangrove cannot be estimated yet, the economical function of the mangrove has evidently weakened.
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Vol. 31 • No. 7