The Earthquake and Tsunami Impact on Coastal Vegetation in Aceh Singkil, Northern Sumatra, Indonesia
1,2Onrizal, 2Mashhor Mansor, 3Mohamad Farid, 3Erwin A. Perbatakusuma, 1Nurdin Sulistiyono, 2Mohamed Hifni Baharuddin
1Forestry Sciences Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Indonesia
2School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia
3Conservation International Indonesia email@example.com
Aceh Singkil in west coast of Northern Sumatra is an affected area both earthquake and tsunami on December 26th 2004. Due to the earthquake, the land in the area had been subsidence from 1.0 to 2.5 m; therefore most of the inter-tidal vegetation communities were destroyed because of the inundation intensity, duration changed and submerged areas. We observed the structure and composition of littoral forests and inter-tidal vegetation communities in Kuala Baru Regency, Aceh Singkil district during 21 to 30 April 2009 or 52 months after tsunami disaster. We found pure stand littoral forests dominated by Casuariana equisetifolia in the mature stage and Cerbera manghas was dominant species in regeneration stages as natural regeneration. In the mangrove area, we found most of the mangrove trees such as Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, B. parviflora, and Rhizophora apiculata dead. Sonneratia caseolaris in a mature stage can survive when compare to other mangrove trees but the seedlings of B. gymnorrhiza are growing well with mean height of around 50 cm. The seedlings of B. qymnorrhiza are also higher resilience level than other mangrove trees including S. caseolaris. Mangrove fern Acrosticum aureum population occupy the open areas left by mangrove plant communities. Mangrove palm Nypa fruticans are recorded growing well and a good resiliency and persistence. In fact some of coastal vegetations both dry lands and forested wetlands have a good capacity to naturally restore and grow after environmental destruction and from ecological view, those plant species can be selected for rehabilitation program in the tsunami-affected area.
Keywords: coastal forest, mangrove forest, earthquake, tsunami, Northern Sumatra
Paper presented at the Third South China Sea Tsunami Workshop (SCSTW3) 03-05 November 2009 Eureka Complex, Minden Main Campus, USM Penang, Malaysia