Knowing the value of mangroves: Why these plants need to be conserved

Mangroves covered 13 per cent of Singapore's land area more than 200 years ago. Today, only about 700ha, or 0.5 per cent, remain. After four years of research, mangrove expert Daniel Friess of the National University of Singapore speaks to Samantha Boh about why these plants need to be conserved.

Mangroves are nursery grounds for young fish, which hide among the roots of the plants to protect themselves from predators. Associate Professor Daniel Friess with NUS students Seah Li Yi (left) and Aleena Kua, both 22, researching mangroves at Sunga
Associate Professor Daniel Friess with NUS students Seah Li Yi (left) and Aleena Kua, both 22, researching mangroves at Sungai Buloh Wetland Reserve. ST PHOTOS: KHALID BABA
Mangroves are nursery grounds for young fish, which hide among the roots of the plants to protect themselves from predators. Associate Professor Daniel Friess with NUS students Seah Li Yi (left) and Aleena Kua, both 22, researching mangroves at Sunga
Above: The bud of Nypa fruticans, commonly known as the nipa palm or mangrove palm. It is often found among mangroves. This was found at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. ST PHOTOS: KHALID BABA
Besides Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, mangroves can also be found in Labrador Park and Pasir Ris as well as offshore on Pulau Ubin, Pulau Tekong and Pulau Semakau.
Mangroves are nursery grounds for young fish, which hide among the roots of the plants to protect themselves from predators.
Mangroves are nursery grounds for young fish, which hide among the roots of the plants to protect themselves from predators. Associate Professor Daniel Friess with NUS students Seah Li Yi (left) and Aleena Kua, both 22, researching mangroves at Sunga
Above: A crab and a mudskipper in the soil near the mangroves at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve during low tide.
ST PHOTOS: KHALID BABA
Left: The bud of Nypa fruticans, commonly known as the nipa palm or mangrove palm. It is often found among mangroves. This was found at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Below left: A crab and a mudskipper in the soil near the mangroves at Sungei Bul
Besides Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, mangroves can also be found in Labrador Park and Pasir Ris as well as offshore on Pulau Ubin, Pulau Tekong and Pulau Semakau.
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Q Where can we find mangroves in Singapore?

A We have about 700ha of mangroves scattered over various parts of the island, including Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Labrador Park and Pasir Ris. They can also be found offshore on Pulau Ubin, Pulau Tekong and Pulau Semakau.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2018, with the headline Knowing the value of mangroves: Why these plants need to be conserved. Subscribe