Mangroves of the Niger River Delta grade into several plant communities from land to sea. This mangrove is a biodiversity hot spot, and one of the richest in ecosystem services in the world, but due to lack of data it is often not mentioned in many global mangrove studies. Inland areas are sandy and mostly inhabited by button wood mangroves (Conocarpus erectus) and grass species while seaward areas are mostly inhabited by red (Rhizophora racemosa), black (Laguncularia racemosa) and white (Avicennia germinans) mangroves species. Anthropogenic activities such as oil and gas exploration, deforestation, dredging, urbanization and invasive nypa palms had changed the soil type from swampy to sandy mud soil. Muddy soil supports nypa palms while sandy soil supports different grass species, core mangrove soil supports red mangroves (R. racemosa), which are the most dominant of all species, with importance value (Iv) of 52.02. The red mangroves are adapted to the swampy soils. They possess long root system (i.e. 10 m) that originates from the tree stem to the ground, to provide extra support. The red mangrove trees are economically most viable as the main source of fire wood for cooking, medicinal herbs and dyes for clothes.
Part of the book: Mangrove Ecosystem Ecology and Function
Niger Delta is an oil rich region situated in the southern part of Nigeria. It is made up of nine states which hosts oil industries. There are a handful of businesses (super market, manufacturing companies, etc.) that service the over 40 million people living in the cities. This situation had led to the increase in solid waste in the city. Because of the problem of over population, and poor waste management strategies (e.g., lack of recycling habit and lack of equipment) the mangrove forest had become a dumping ground for waste. This action has impacted the health of aquatic and terrestrial organisms, and has created a public health disaster for citizens because of increase in heavy metal concentration up the food chain. This chapter therefore, identifies poverty, lack of planning, poor behavior and poor technology as key factors affecting effective waste management in the Niger Delta. It suggests that good waste management system can be worked out if there is coordination between research institution and government in the implementation of recommendation by research institutes. Attitudinal change is also necessary on the part of citizens and government to enable a healthy interaction for the purpose of managing waste effectively.
Part of the book: Municipal Solid Waste Management