Wetland Science Vol. 7 No. 2 Page 130-134 (June 2009)
The Effect of Tsunami in 2004 on Mangrove Forests, Nias Island, Indonesia
Onrizal1,2, Cecep Kusmana3, Mashhor Mansor2
(1. Department of Forestry Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Univesitas Sumatera Utara, Medan 20155, Indonesia; 2. Wetland Ecology Research Group, School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia; 3. Forest Ecology Laboratory, Faculty of Forestry, Bogor Agricultural University, Bogor 16001, Indonesia)
Abstract: The earthquake and tsunami that devastated coastal area in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province and North Sumatra Province, especially Nias Island on December 26, 2004, caused damage to most mangrove and coastal forests in the areas. Before the 2004 tsunami, there is no report or publication about mangrove and coastal vegetation in Nias Island. The aims of this research were to describe the mangrove forests and coastal vegetation after tsunami disaster and to learn the ecological functions of mangrove forests and coastal vegetation on shore protection. Field surveys, in eastern, northern and western coast of Nias Island within 10 days of the middle weeks in March 2005 and in southern coast of Nias Island within 6 days of the first weeks in November 2006 , were conducted. Our research results showed that dense mangrove forests and coastal vegetation had been proven to be effective on protecting coastal area from the tsunami, while heavy damage occurred in the areas that have degraded mangrove and coastal forests. Therefore, mangrove forests play an important role on shore protection, and this protection depends on the quality of mangrove habitats. It should be noted that degraded habitats with mangrove associate species instead of true mangrove species do not provide adequate protection.
Keywords: coastal vegetation; tsunami; shore protection; Nias Island
Received date: 2008-12-15; Revised date: 2009-05-26
Corresponding author: Onrizal – firstname.lastname@example.org