11 October 2011

Rainy day gifts from the mangroves

Rain may wipe out field trips and mess up commuting, but lots of interesting mangrove seeds and seedlings are often washed up on our shores during the rainy season.
Today, I came across lots of propagules from rarer trees such as Tumu berau (Bruguiera sexangula) and Lenggadai (Bruguiera parviflora!

It was another drippy cloudy morning and just a pair of fishermen on the deserted beaches of Changi on a high tide. The beach was not as thickly covered with seedlings as it was earlier this year. But I did come across many mangrove seeds and seedlings (more properly called propagules).
I was surprised to find a lot of Tumu berau (Bruguiera sexangula) propagules! These are short, fat and bright green. I thought I saw the last of them in June. There were also a variety of other propagules.
The largest number of propagules were from Bakau putih. It was my first time that I saw several propagules of Lenggadai, they were all yellowish green. I also came across a few propagules of Tengar merah.
(A) Lenggadai (Bruguiera parviflora)
(B) Bakau putih (Bruguiera cylindrica)
(C) Tengar Merah (Ceriops zippeliana)
Bright pink propagules! I remember Dr John Yong's talk where he explains that this happens when the mother mangrove tree is exposed to pollution. There were also lots of medium sized propagules that are probably Bakau minyak (Rhizophora apiculata). I only saw one very long Bakau kurap (Rhizophora mucronata) propagule and one that might be Tumu (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza).
I was a little confused by 'furry' seeds until I realised they were probably fruits of Sea almond (Terminalia catappa) at different stages of decomposition?
Other seeds that washed up were not green. How nice to see one (A) that seems to be a seed from Dungun (Heritiera littoralis)! My first time! [Oops, update: seems (A) is not Dungun after all).
(A) Dungun (Heritiera littoralis) Unidentified fruit (B) Nipah (Nypa fruticans)
(C) Nyireh (Xylocarpus sp.) (D) Kuku tupai (Caesalpinia crista)
(E) Derris (Derris trifoliata) (F) Sea almond (Terminalia catappa)
The rainy season seems to have started early this year. While I do hope there won't be another serious flood like the one in 2007 that resulted in mass death at Chek Jawa. I am looking forward to finding interesting mangrove seeds and seedlings on our shores during this period!


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