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Dongzhai Port Nature Reserve

Date of Submission: 12/02/1996
Category: Natural
Submitted by:
National Commission of the People's Republic of China for UNESCO
Coordinates: Qiongshan County,Hainan Island,Guangdong ProLong. 110°30' East Lat. 20° 07' North
Ref.: 105

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Situated in Qiongshan County, Hainan Island, Guangdong Province, the Dongzhai Port Nature Reserve (20D 7' N and 110°30'E) covers an area of 2,500 ha. with a total coast line of more than 50 kilometers. With many windings and bays along the coast line, the Dongzhai Port was formed by a serious earthquake in the year of 1605. The harbour is deep and wide with gentle and flat beach. There are a quite number of tidewater gullies. When the tide rises the beach is flooded and the gullies are full of water and while the tide edds the beach is exposed resulting many shallow pools. The mangrove forest is growing on the beach along the sea coast. The red soil of the land comes from the weathered basalt and the salinized soil is under the mangrove forest with the lowest PH value of 3.78 and the highest of 8.17. The soil of the deep layer is mainly fine sands and soft mud. There are six rivers in the Reserve, namely Malinggou, Yangzhouhe, Yangfenghe, Xihe, Sanjianghe and Taolanxi. Besides, there are still some river courses directly emptyed into the sea. During the rainy season, the fierce wind and torrential rain caused by the violent typhoon wash a large quantity of fine sands and organic particles into the harbours, resulting swampland followed by the accumulation of silt. Thanks to the shallow water and gentle wind and calm waves here, it is quite suitable for the growth of the mangrove forests. Since the Reserve lies in the monsoon climate area, the average annual temperature is 23.8 degrees C with 28.4 degrees C in July and 17.1 degrees C in January and 1,700 mm of annual rainfall and the temperature of the sea water varies from 32.6 degrees C to 14.8 degrees C with the average of 24.5 degrees C. The mangrove forest is the special flora in the beaches of tropical and subtropical areas. In the Dongzhai Nature Reserve, there exist mainly 12 families of flora with 19 species. The Rhiziphoraceae family has the species of Rhiziphora stylosa,Bruguiera sexangula, B. gymnorrhiza, Kandedia candel and Ceriops tagal; the Verbenaceae family of Avicennia marina; the Myrsinaceae family of Aegiceras corniculatum; the Euphorbiaceae family of Excoecaria agallocha; the Palmae family of Nypa fruticans and Sterculiaceae family oi Heritiera littoralis. The mangrove mainly growing in the following harbours: Sanjiang and Yanzhouxi (more than 730 ha.), Shanweixi (90 ha.) and Tashi (more than 900 ha.). The Bruguiera is the only nature tree in this reserve are and the can have 14.5 m with 60 cm of breast high diameters. The Rhizophora stylosa is growing in most of the areas in the Reserve with rich and crisscross root systems and wind and wave resistant characteristics, which is one of the main tree species for the establishment of the coast line sheltbelts. The mangrove forest belts is the ideal habitat for birds, amphibians, reptiles and fishes. The common birds are wild ducks, egrets, sanpipers etc. and there are also plenty of fishes, prawns, crustaceans and molluses. Setting up in 1980 by the Provincial Government of Guangdong, the Dongzhai Port Nature Reserve was ratified by the State Council in July,1986, as one of the State controlled nature reserves. At present, there are 19 staff members in the Reserve. The Dongzhai Port Nature Reserve is the first mangrove forest nature reserve in China. Since the establishment of the Reserve, the mangrove forest belts have been well protected and some man-made forests of mangrove have also been established in the Reserve. Beginning from 1980 up to now, more than 500 ha. of man-made forests of mangrove have been afforested with 65% of the planted trees crowned, which has greatly promoted the development of the mangrove forests. At the surroundings of the Reserve, there are 72 villages with 13,000 inhabitants who take the agriculture as their main farming activities and fishing as sideline occupation or are engaged in half agriculture and half fishery. In order to run the Reserve well, a policy of respon-sibility system has been conducted and each person should fully fulfill the job assigned by the authority of the Reserve. In addition, they always educate the public to be aware of the importance for protecting the mangrove forests and give publicity to the rules and regulations in managing the Reserve. Supported by the county authori-ties, some joint protection and joint guard groups have been set up between the neighbouring townships and villages so as to protect the mangrove forest belts more efficiently. Since the establishment of the Dongzhai Port Nature Reserve, some research activities have been conducted, such as the survey of the flora resources, phenology observation, afforestation experiments in different site conditions, ecosystem changes of the mangrove forest etc. and some results have already been achieved. The mangrove forests are mainly distributed along the coast lines of Guangdong Province and some coast lines of Guangxi, Taiwan and Fujian Provinces and the species are more or less the same with that of the Southeast Asian Countries. In China, the best mangrove forests are in the northern coast line of Hainan Island, Guangdong Province. The mangrove forest in the Dongzhai Port Nature Reserve is the typical representative of the Hainan Island. The research work of the mangrove forests is of significant importance in protecting the ecological balance of the harbours and the coast lines. By doing study and practice, it proves that the mangrove forests can be planted artificially and this kind of research will certainly be done continuously in future.