Preliminary assessment of post-Haiyan mangrove damage andshort-term recovery in Eastern Samar, central Philippines

Preliminary assessment of post-Haiyan mangrove damage andshort-term recovery in Eastern Samar, central Philippines


In this study, authors examined the natural ability of mangrove trees to recover after major storms and supertyphoons in the Philippines. Coastal mangroves are important for reducing the damage from these storms.

Goals & Method

The goal of this paper is to determine if the large-sums of money earmarked by the government of the Philippines is effetive. The authors surveyed plots of mangrove trees in seven sites after a major storm, marking undamaged, partially damaged, and totally damaged/dead trees. Remote sensing was also performed to track survey areas for months after the storm. They also tracked whether the mangroves were natural or planted, the survey dates, and the species of mangrove available.

Conclusion & Takeaways

While large areas close to storm landfall suffered deforestation, remote sensing showed a remarkable recovery of mangrove forest within 18 months. This suggests that estimates of damage must be performed up to 1.5 years after a storm makes landfall. The government spends lots of money on reforestation using R. apiculata and Rhizophora stylosa, which are easy to transport and easy to plant. However, they have a high mortality, a depressed ability to recover from storms, and are not overly successful at protecting from storm destruction. Trees such as Sonneratia alba are more successful at recovery from storms without human input, and are better at protecting inland people from storms. Authors recommend for the government to protect the recovering natural stands and to replant only in the few devastated sites.



Primavera JH, M. Cruz dela, Montilijao C, et al. Preliminary assessment of post-Haiyan mangrove damage and short-term recovery in Eastern Samar, central Philippines. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2016;109:744–750. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.05.050.


  • Zoological Society of London-Philippines, La Paz, Iloilo City, Philippines.
  • University of the Philippines in the Visayas Tacloban College, Tacloban City, Philippines.
  • Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative, Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, United States
  • Haribon Foundation, Aurora Blvd., Quezon City, Philippines
  • Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines
  • Conservation International, E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave., Quezon City, Philippines
  • De La Salle University, Binan, Laguna, Philippines