10 February 2017

Changi Creek mangroves one month after the oil spill

One month after the 300-tonne oil spill in the East Johor Strait, there are few signs of the oil spill at the mangroves of Changi Creek.
Changi Creek mangroves
There is some improvement compared to our last oil spill impact survey in Jan 2017, about two weeks after the oil spill. I could no longer clearly see the narrow band of oil stains on the mangrove trees. But it was alarming to see one large mangrove tree had snapped at the trunk.


The last patch of wild mangroves at Changi are upstream of Changi Creek.
Debby and I had a quick look at the Changi Creek mangroves by walking along the boardwalk next to the road.
Changi Creek mangroves
Most of the trees looked alright, with nice green leaves.
Changi Creek mangroves
I didn't see any mangrove propagules that were 'albinos', i.e., odd colours other than green.
Changi Creek mangroves
Dr John Yong has taught us to look at propagules on a mangrove tree for early signs of pollution affecting mangroves. Propagules are the long things that we see hanging on some mangrove trees. These are not fruits but seedlings (thus 'propagating units'=propagules?) that develop on the mother tree. As in humans, these 'baby trees' are more easily affected by bad stuff that might not show up so clearly on a mature tree. Pollution may turn a propagule pink! Or yellow or white. These 'albino' propagules are a first sign of something going wrong in a mangrove. Here's an albino' propagule that I've seen in the past.
There was one large tree that looked like it had recently broken and fallen down. Its leaves were still on the branches.
Changi Creek mangroves, with large broken tree
The tree looks like it snapped at the trunk! And there are oil stains on the trunk. Did the oil impact affect the tree's health?
Changi Creek mangroves, with large broken tree
There were still signs of oil stains on the lower leaves of some of the trees.
And one sapling with yellowing leaves.
Changi Creek mangroves, sapling with yellowing leaves
We saw many Leaf oysters on the mud that looked alive.
Leaf oyster (Isognomon ephippium)
And one Giant mudskipper building his 'swimming pool' home to attract a nice girlfriend.
Giant mudskipper (Periophthalmodon schlosseri)

Today, Debby Ng of the Hantu Bloggers and I surveyed these Changi shores for oil spill impact
See also Debby's post on the Hantu Blog.

Posts about the Jan 2017 Johor Strait oil spill



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