Species Details

Details of Mangrove apple will be displayed below

Mangrove apple   

Common Name: Red apple mangrove
Scientific Name: Sonneratia caseolaris
Local Name: Kulha
Dhivehi Name: ކުއްޅަ
Plantae  (Kingdom)
Tracheophyta  (Plylum)
Magnoliopsida  (Class)
Myrtales  (Order)
Lythraceae  (Family)
Sonneratia   (Genus)

Mangrove apple's description

Description: Trees to 25 m high, bark fi ssured; pneumatophores to 50×6 cm, straight, stout, corky, brownish grey or orangecoloured, outer layer fl aky; bark brown, cracked; branchlets angled, nodes swollen with 2 lateral pair of circular glands. Leaves simple, opposite-decussate, 4-11×3.5-6.5 cm, broadly ovate or broadly elliptic, base cuneate, apex mucronate, emarginate or obtuse, thick, slightly fl eshy, green; lateral veins looped near the margin; petiole stout, red. Flowers pink, to 6×5-7 cm, terminal, solitary; pedicel quadrangular. Calyx green outside, white within. Petals 6, free, purple to violet red, membranous, cauducous. Stamens many, free, infl exed in bud, cauducous; fi laments reddish below, white above, thread like, anthers reniform, bilobed. Style coiled in bud, to 6 cm. Fruit a drupe, to 7 cm across, globose, slightly fl attened, pericarp smooth; seeds many, embedded in the fleshy pulp of the placenta, angular with rough surface.

Mangrove apple's Behavior & Ecology

Occurrence in Maldives: Was very common in some of the northern islands in 90's but due to habitat loss the number of this species have dropped significantly in the past decade. Now this species can be called as "RARE" in Maldives.

Mangrove apple habitat

This species is found in the upstream estuarine zone in the lower intertidal region. It is shade intolerant with a maximum salinity of 35 ppt (Robertson and Alongi 1992). It is found in lower saline areas on deep muddy soil along tidal creeks with slow moving freshwater. This is a pioneering species that colonizes newly formed mudflats (Terrados et al. 1997), and can expand rapidly in number, especially in optimum conditions of low salinity. It is fast growing with low seed viabililty (sets fruit only three months of the year). It grows to 30-40 m and is associated with the firefly insect (Ptyeroyx spp.).

Mangrove apple threats

Sea level rise is a major threat, especially to back mangroves that have no area in which to expand. Mangrove species with a habitat on the landward margin may be particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise if owing to coastal development their movement inland is blocked. Although local estimates are uncertain due to differing legislative definitions of what is a 'mangrove' and to the imprecision in determining mangrove area, current consensus estimates of mangrove loss in the last quarter-century report an approximately 20% decline in mangrove areas in countries within this species range since 1980 (FAO 2007).

All mangrove ecosystems occur within mean sea level and high tidal elevations, and have distinct species zonations that are controlled by the elevation of the substrate relative to mean sea level. This is because of associated variation in frequency of elevation, salinity and wave action (Duke et al. 1998). With rise in sea-level, the habitat requirements of each species will be disrupted, and species zones will suffer mortality at their present locations and re-establish at higher elevations in areas that were previously landward zones (Ellison 2005). If sea-level rise is a continued trend over this century, then there will be continued mortality and re-establishment of species zones. However, species that are easily dispersed and fast growing/fast producing will cope better than those which are slower growing and slower to reproduce.

In addition, mangrove area is declining globally due to a number of localized threats. The main threat is habitat destruction and removal of mangrove areas. Reasons for removal include cleared for shrimp farms, agriculture, fish ponds, rice production and salt pans, and for the development of urban and industrial areas, road construction, coconut plantations, ports, airports, and tourist resorts. Other threats include pollution from sewage effluents, solid wastes, siltation, oil, and agricultural and urban runoff. Climate change is also thought to be a threat, particularly at the edges of a species range. Natural threats include cyclones, hurricane and tsunamis.

Mangrove apple's status