While mangrove ecosystems are losing ground worldwide, many efforts have been made to rehabilitate degraded areas and/or to convert other intertidal habitats (e.g. saltpans, marsh areas) into mangrove forests. An in-depth evaluation of the success of such attempts is nevertheless lacking. Here, we showcase the potential of 'omics approaches – a set of molecular and chemical high-throughput technologies, that allow for the cost-efficient analysis of a large number of samples, while providing high-resolution data about ecosystem community composition and functionality – to investigate the effects and efficiency of such management efforts.
Case study: The Pichavaram mangroves
Suffering from increased salinity due to a strong reduction in the freshwater flow, sea level rise and remnant effects of a Tsunami, the Pichavaram mangroves are being managed using the Fish-bone model of irrigation. This model creates trenches over large areas to enhance flushing by tidal water through a dense network of channels between two main rivers.
Here, we combine metabarcoding, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics to assess the taxonomic composition of the community and its potential and expressed metabolic function, respectively. The use of metabolomics will allow assessing the physiological changes in mangrove trees upon environmental change and changes in the quantity and quality of the sediment organic matter.
Dr. Christophe Proisy and Dr. G. Muthusankar (French Institute of Pondicherry - IFP, India)
Dr. R. Arthur James and Prof. Dr. C. Lakshumanan, (Bharathidasan University, India)