A Study of Red Mangrove Health on San Salvador Island Bahamas

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Studies have shown that mangrove populations across the globe are in decline. Mangrove species are vital organisms within their ecosystems and the success of many other populations can be tied to the presence of mangroves. Mangrove populations are found along shorelines within tropical and sub-tropical brackish bodies of water. Previous research has shown that human disturbance is playing a pivotal role in the decline of mangrove populations. This study identified factors such as abnormal pH, presence of insects, crown loss, and human disturbance as potential stressors. Presence of these factors was recorded at sampling sites to create a mangrove health index. Additionally, leaf counts were taken of healthy and unhealthy leaves to get a measure of the mean incidence of leaf disease per sampling site. A Spearman Correlation was conducted to determine if there was a correlation between the mangrove health index created and the mean incidence of leaf disease. A statistically significant relationship was found between the measure of leaf disease incidence and the mangrove health index created.
Thesis completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Alfred University Honors Program.
Honors thesis, Environmental Studies, Biology, Health