Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Semakau Public Walk on 23 Feb 2008

On this day, I was supposed to go for my Bukit Timah training to prepare for my upcoming trekking trip. However I was having serious stomachache so I rotted at home for the whole morning. Luckily the pain was gone by noon and I managed to go for my first guiding in 2008 at Semakau. This trip is quite special as I have Kah Chine partner with me. The group name that I had was "Mangrove". The participants that we had today are 9 students from ITE Clementi. We gave each of them a "Mangrove" badge so that we could easily recognise them as my participants. Below is a picture of the badge.

Since my group was "Mangrove", let's talk about mangrove. During the construction of Semakau Landfill, some of the mangrove were destroyed. However the authority replanted back the amount of mangrove that were destroyed. In total 13.6 hectares of mangrove were planted. When we travelled from the visitor centre to the southern tip of Semakau Landfill, we could see the replanted mangrove. To differentiate the replanted ones from the original ones is quite easy. The replanted ones had quite an even height and they look very similar. The original ones have different height and there were different species of mangrove trees.

As seen from the picture in the badge, the mangrove tree has a "special look". It looks quite different from most of the trees that we can find along the road or in the forest. The tree trunk seems to be "held up" in the air by some weird looking roots. Why is this so? To understand this, let's look at where we can find mangrove tree. Mangrove tree can be found along the muddy seashore. To survive in this habitat where it is often immersed in sea water during high tide and having to "stand" in soft mud, the mangrove has evolved some clever solutions. (1) Have roots that can breathe from the air to obtain oxygen since there is not much oxygen in mud (anaerobic substrate). (2) Spread out your legs.. oppss .. roots to get a better balance so you don't fall easily when pushed over by the waves from the sea or sink into the soft mud. Thus you get the stilt roots that you see from the mangrove tree shown in the badge. Other survival skill that mangrove tree has are secreting excess salt or filtering salt from the sea water.

I feel that the mangrove tree is like a gentle giant providing protection to all the fishes, crab,bird and even human beings. Do you know that during the 2004 December Tsumani,villages in Thailand and Sri Lanka with mangrove forests along the coast were spared the full power of the disaster. The mangrove trees absorbed much of the tsunami’s force thus the impact on the villages were very much reduced. Do appreciate mangrove tree. Let us not destroy this gentle giant and help to protect it from the waves of destruction just like how it can protect us from the waves of Tsumani.


Siyang said...

WOw, din know mangrove badge is so nice!

tHE tiDE cHAsER said...

i think all the new badges look very nice :)

Thanks to Andrew!

Siyang said...

haha spread out ur legs~ thats a nice one :P