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These are forest occurring exclusively on coastal and riverine saline soils subject to sea tidal influence and can be clearly differentiated from peat swamp forest which it typically borders. Many trees species develop special breathing roots or pneumathores.
Brunei Darussalam mangrove forests are estimated to cover around 18,418 hectares, mostly found in the inner Brunei Bay. The mangrove forest is further classified based on the dominant plant species, as follows:
This mangrove forest virtually dominated by 'bakau minyak' ( Rhizophora apiculata ) and represents almost 50% of the total mangrove forest in the Temburong Distric. Another Rhizophora species, 'bakau kurap' ( Rhizophora mucronata ), also occurs but is limited to areas near deltaic channels and creeks.
'Nyireh Bunga' Forests
'Nyireh bunga' ( Xylocarpus granatum ) occurs in association with 'bakau minyak' , or in largely homogenous stands especially on less frequently inundated land. Large lobster mounds usually covered by 'piai' fern (Acrostichum aureum ) abound. Almost pure stands of 'nyireh bunga' can be found in Selirong and Labu Forest Reserves.
'Linggadai' ( Bruguiera gymnorrhiza ) is the dominant Bruguiera species found in the Temburong mangrove forests. Although there are three other species (B. caryophylloides, B. parviflora , and B. sexangula ) that can be found abundantly or in pure stands in Sarawak, these species are not significantly present in Brunei. Pure stands of 'linggadai' can be found in small patches in Labu Forest Reserve along the waterways of Sungai Sipuyut.
Pure concentrations of the 'nipah' palm ( Nypa fruitcans ) occur extensively along river banks and riparian zones in the coastal areas. These are found along the lower reaches of the Pendaruan, Temburong, and Labu Rivers in the Temburong District, and along downstream banks of the Tutong and Belait Rivers.
This mangrove forest is characterized by 'nipah' palms in natural combination with 'dungun' (Heritiera globosa) as understorey. This mangrove can be observed at the most upper limits of saline influence particularly along the Temburong and Labu Rivers. Towards the down-river limits of its distribution,'buta buta' (Excoecaria agallocha), 'linggadai', and some 'bakau' may be present.
Small gregarious stands of 'pedada' ( Sonneratia caseolaris ) occur on recently deposited silt along the fringes of the Temburong and Labu Rivers. This species is most prominent in Kuala Labu and Temburong.
The tall spiny palm 'nibong' ( Oncosperma tigillarium ) is a marginal mangrove species, occurring locally in small to medium-sized clumps at the land-ward edge of mangroves, especially in more upriver localities.
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