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The Impact of Anthropogenic Intervention on the Walauwewaththa Wathurana Fresh Water Swamp Forest in Sri Lanka

Authors:

S. H. S. M. Siriwardana ,

University of Sri Jayawardenapura, LK
About S. H. S. M.
Department of Geography
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Pinnawala Sangasumana

University of Sri Jayawardenapura, LK
About Pinnawala
Department of Geography
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Abstract

Swamp forests are considered as the late succession stage of a freshwater marsh ecosystem and it is the rarest wetland type in Sri Lanka, rich in biodiversity thus providing a number of ecosystem services. The Walauwewatta Wathurana has been identified as the most dynamic fresh water ecosystem in Sri Lanka. These rare forest ecosystems have been subjected to degradation over the past decades due to various reasons especially anthropogenic activities. A study was conducted to explore the magnitude of these impacts caused by anthropogenic activities. A household survey was conducted using a structured questioner and Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA) and discussions were made to gather information from the people living close by the swamp. Data analysis based on both quantitative and qualitative techniques. It was revealed that, a large number of activities carried out in the surrounding area of the forest by the neighboring communities directly or indirectly were related to their livelihoods as well as for their daily household needs. The richness of the species and the abundance have decreased over the past two decades due to the unsustainable fishing activities, contamination of agro-chemicals as well as chemical effluents of rubber based industries, sand mining, bamboo and rattan industries located around the forest area. Therefore the Wathurana fresh water swamp forest has been subjected to degradation due to anthropogenic activities. Conservation strategies should be implemented to strengthen the sustainability of the ecosystem services provided by this freshwater swamp forest.
How to Cite: Siriwardana, S.H.S.M. and Sangasumana, P., 2018. The Impact of Anthropogenic Intervention on the Walauwewaththa Wathurana Fresh Water Swamp Forest in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, 5(2), pp.130–138. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/ijms.v5i2.106
Published on 23 Dec 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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