Flora index
Fauna index
guide to the mangroves of singapore
Economic value
Peter K L Ng and N Sivasothi (editors)
  Potential Use

Potential use value is difficult to quantify. Mangroves, if they retain the full diversity of species, have great potential for yielding products that humankind can exploit in the future for some as yet unforeseen need. This is the new world of bioprospecting. The numerous species used in folk medicine are a starting point for exploration for scientific medicinal usage. Many currently valuable pharmaceutical products are derived from plants, such as taxol from the Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia), used for the treatment of ovarian and breast cancer; digitalis, a cardiac stimulant from the foxgloves (Digitalis species, especially D. purpurea and D. lanata); aspirin from the bark of willow (Salix purpurea) and numerous other medicines.

In the exploitation of mangroves for their economic value, often the environment is degraded to some extent or almost totally wiped out as in harvesting of raw materials for chipboard or pulpwood. What is ironic, is that mangroves are ideally suited as a renewable resource for repeated harvesting of its commercial products. Raw materials (e.g. lignocellulose) are produced from seawater, sunlight and nutrients which are replenished by the tides and can be readily transported inland or exported by the closeness to rivermouths and the sea, respectively. It seems incredibly short-sighted to view mangroves purely as an asset to be harvested once or to be converted to land for a more profitable concern in the short-term.
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