Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lakshmipuram of Annagaripalem mangrove swamps

Gaint trees of Rhizophora mucronata


Sesuvium portulacastrum & Suaeda nudiflora


As part of my study on mangroves of Nellore district, I happened to visit Lakshmipuram of Annagaripalem in Kavali mandal. It is here we find the tallest trees of Rhizophora mucronata which are extended over a large area. Artrhocnemum indicum & Sesuvium portulacastrum are two mangrove associates which have spread over a large area in these swamps.
  • Mandal : Kavali
  • Coordinates : 14049125.9411N, 80004137.3411E
  • Date of visit : 27-7-2011
The swamps of the above location are about 1 km to the east of Lakshmipuram, a fishermen hamlet in Annagaripalem panchayat of Kavali mandal. In order to reach these swamps one has to cross the Buckingham canal. The entire area to the east of Buckingham canal is heavily invaded with Prosopis chilensis , which has extended farther into the salt marshes.

True mangroves:
a. Avicennia marina : about 6-7 ft tall, very dense, in full bloom, there are fruits here and there.
b. Rhizophora mucronata : in flowering. In entire Nellore district, it is here we find the tallest and most robust R. mucranata trees. About 5 such trees have come together giving the appearance of a single tree. They occupy an area of about 150 ft X 2 ft, and a height of 15 -18 ft.

They are at the fringe of a creek, full of water round the year. Besides, there are 21 smaller trees R. mucranata ranging from 6-10 ft in height.

Lakshmipuram mangrove swamps are dominated by A. marina with dense growth. The extent of the mangrove swamp is about 18000 sq. meters.

Mangrove associates:
1. Acanthus ilicifolius : sparse in number, in flowering.
2. Sesuvium portulacastrum: dense growth, no flowers.
3. Artrhocnemum indicum : dense growth, no flowers.
These two mangrove associates have spread in a mixed pattern occupying an area of about 2 hectares.
4. Suaeda nudiflora: flowering.

Lakshmipuram is predominantly a fishermen hamlet. Most of the dwellers are engaged in fishing in the creeks and in the sea, about 1 km away. Some of them are engaged as laborers in the prawn culture ponds which are hardly a km away from the hamlet.

There is a Mandal Parishad School with a student strength of 30 and two full-fledged teachers. After completing the field visit the school was visited and the students and teachers were addressed about mangroves, their significance and the need for their conservation. Live plant specimens collected were shown and explained with the help of poster. Pamphlets on the need for conservation of mangroves were distributed to the teachers for disseminating the information contained therein to the local stake holders and others concerned.

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