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Vegetation description

Sheltered onshore mudflats, mainly on Tongatapu and in Vav'u, support a depauperate mangrove swamp community dominated by the mangroves Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Rhizophora samoensis and/or R. stylosa. Farther inland, where the water changes from saline to brackish or fresh, buttressed trees occur, such as Excoecaria agallocha, Inocarpus fagifer and Xylocarpus granatum. Paspalum vaginatum often forms a dominant grass cover on the inland margin of the swamp.

Mueller-Dombois, D. & F. R. Fosberg. 1998. Vegetation of the tropical Pacific islands. Springer-Verlag, New York. 733 pp.

National level mangrove area estimates







1 000

Saenger, P., Hegerl E.J. and J.D.S., Davie. 1983. Global status of mangrove ecosystems. Commission on Ecology Papers No.3. IUCN. Gland, Switzerland. 88 pp.


Secondary reference, no primary source provided.

The "Year" is the publication year.



Netatua, P, Department of Environment. 2001. Tonga Country Report. Regional Workshop on mangrove wetlands protection and sustanaible use. Marine Studies Centre, USP SUVA June 12-16, 2001


Aerial photographs


1 305

Wiser, S. Burrows, L. Sykes, W. Drake, D. Savage, T. 1999. A Natural Forest Invenrory of Tongatapu and Nearby Islands. Kigdom of Tonga NZODA 1998/99 Forestry Project


Remote sensing and ground survey.

Trends in mangrove area extent over time

No major changes appear to have occurred in this country over the last twenty years.

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