REGENERATION STATUS OF MAJOR MANGROVE SPECIES IN THE SUNDARBAN MANGROVE FOREST OF BANGLADESH
Natural regeneration can potentially play a major role in large-scale landscape restoration in mangrove areas of Bangladesh Sundarban. Both, biological and physical factors can affect the establishment and early stages along the development of trees. This study examined the response of natural regeneration of major mangroves species in the Sundarban. We recorded appearing of seedlings of different mangrove species in 30 permanent sample plots (PSP) and area of each PSP is 400 m2. The average number of seedlings appearing from 2000 to 2009 were recorded 36,363/year/ha although recruitment densities varied considerably among different parts of the forests. Heritiera fomes, Excoecaria agallocha, Ceriops decandra and other species together constituted 38.45%, 27.81%, 16.98% and 16.78% of the recruits (three months old seedlings) respectively. As well as the average number of seedlings appearing from 2010 to 2016 was found 31,752/year/ha. Heritiera fomes, Excoecaria agallocha, Ceriops decandra and other species together constituted 33.94%, 24.61%, 17.52% and 23.93% of the recruits (three months old seedlings) respectively. There is no statistically significant difference at the 5% level in the seedlings recruitment between the years 2000 to 2009 and 2010 to 2016. If adequate natural regeneration is not established by the end of the fourth growing season, then an alternative regeneration method may be implemented. Chronology of regeneration data revealed that natural regeneration is promising for the Sundarban mangrove forest to ensure a rich stocking in the future if other factors remaining favorable.