Flora index
Fauna index
guide to the mangroves of singapore
Economic Value
Peter K L Ng and N Sivasothi (editors)
  Mangrove Products
Non-food | Food

Productive use value is the one most visible for mangroves. In Singapore, because mangroves have shrunk in area so considerably, productive use value is practically zero, but in the rest of the world, this is still very significant. The products that can be extracted for sale in local and international markets are myriad.

Sawn timber: Heritiera and Xylocarpus species produce high-quality timber but are often scarce and difficult to access.

Poles: Unsawn poles of Rhizophora species (bakau piles) are the most common extraction product in the region; they are easily harvested by manual methods and have a short crop-rotation period in managed forests (e.g. in Peninsular Malaysia).
stacked poles of wood
Piles of bakau (Rhizophora) wood

kiln with stacks of wood next to it
A kiln in Matang, Perak,
where Rhizophora wood
is converted into charcoal
Fuel wood and charcoal:This may be used directly or after conversion into charcoal. Rhizophora species wood have a high calorific value meaning that they produce more heat for the same weight, and are thus the major species exploited. Charcoal manufacture still occurs in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. For examples, managed forests are found in the Matang District and Johor River Forest Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia.

Tannins and dyes: Bark of mangrove trees are harvested as a source of tannin for the tanning industry. High tannin content is found especially in members of the Rhizophoraceae, to increase their resistance to herbivores. With development of cheap synthetic tannic acids after World War II, the commercial exploitation of mangrove bark has dropped to practically zero. Mangrove sap is, however, still used by East Africans or Polynesians to make the black dye for tapa cloth.

Raw materials for industries: Mangrove trees are exploited for the lignocellulose for the manufacture of chipboard, pulpwood (newspaper and cardboard) or synthetic materials (e.g., rayon).
What is mangrove?

The Ecosystem


Indirect uses
Potential uses

About Mangroves
in Singapore

Mangroves to visit
From "A Guide to Mangroves of Singapore", Peter K. L. Ng and N. Sivasothi (editors)
Volume 1: The Ecosystem and Plant Diversity and Volume 2: Animal Diversity
Authors: Kelvin K. P. Lim, Dennis H. Murphy, T. Morgany, N. Sivasothi, Peter K. L. Ng,
B. C. Soong, Hugh T. W. Tan, K. S. Tan & T. K. Tan
BP Guide to Nature Series published by the Singapore Science Centre, sponsored by British Petroleum
2001 Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, The National University of Singapore & The Singapore Science Centre