Chantaburi

Exploring the Mangrove Forest

   

The Mangrove Resources Development Station 2 is located in the Welu River estuary, which is one of the biggest mangrove ecosystems in Thailand. This must-see highlight encourages visitors to walk and enjoy the beauty of the natural mangrove forests.

The 1,200-metre nature trail on the wooden bridge goes through a variety of mangrove plants. There are six rest pavilions along the bridge. Each rest pavilion has different information boards with photos that will give you more insight about the mangrove forest and its ecological aspects.

Because of the mangrove forest growing on the land connecting to the sea in muddy soil and brackish water environment where they are regular sea floods; such as, seashores, river estuaries or lagoons, it takes on the unique survival characteristics that are different from other types of forests. Some mangroves confront high winds and strong sun. This environment then influences the surrounding plants to adjust and adapt their root systems, stems, stalks, leaves, blossoms, and fruits in order to survive.

While walking along the bridge, the first intriguing plant species you will see are mangroves, whose massive partly-submerged roots are like spider legs to support the trunks under the muddy landscape. These mangroves have adapted their root structure to help buttress their trunks to position securely in the muddy coastline with strong waves and winds.

Other swamp plants; such as, Samae (Avicennia alba), Lam Phu (Sonneratia caseolaris), Lam Phaen (Sonneratia ovate Backer), also physically developed their small roots in order to expose above ground to breathe due to the underground anaerobic condition limiting the oxygen intake from the roots.

There are several varieties of mangroves along both sides including Kongkang Bai Yai (Rhizophora mucronata Poir.), Kongkang Bai Lek (Rhizophora apiculata Blume), Phangka Hua Sum Dok Daeng (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza (L.) Savigny), Pat Dok Daeng (Lumnitzera littorea Voigt), Tabun Khao (Xylocarpus granatum Koen.), Samet Khao (Melaleuca Cajuputi Powell), Lam Phu (Sonneratia caseolaris), and Samae Khao (Avicennia alba Bl.). In addition, if you look closely down the muddy wet swamp, you might find unfamiliar but cute fish like mudskippers and other aquatic creatures; such as, shellfish and mangrove crabs.

You will enjoy not only the peaceful view of the mangrove wildlife and exotic plants, but also the distinct mangrove ecosystem values as the significant feeding ground for all marine lives and their habitat.

Besides their great shade, the massive root systems of the mangrove forest also help protect the coastal line from strong waves and winds. Likewise, they slow down tidal water, encouraging marine fisheries to lay eggs and raise their young. Various species can be found in the mangrove forests along the tropical shores; such as, mammals, reptiles, birds and economic creatures including tiger prawns, banana shrimps, oysters, mussels, cockles, crabs, groupers, mullet, and white perch.

Come and enjoy walking along the mangrove nature trail at least once in your lifetime. It is guaranteed that you will have fun along with increasing in appreciation of nature that should be preserved for generations to come.