Margit Smelt: The Effect Of Saltwater Intrusion On Terrestrial Vegetation In Village Forest Gardens On The Northeast Coast of Java and Its Socio-Economic Consequences

Wageningen Universiteit & Research

Village forest gardens  are special types of gardens with layers of shrubs, bamboos, palms, and trees around homes. These gardens provide a variety of things like fuel, building materials, fruits, food, and even medicine. In places like southeast Asia, these gardens are a tradition and a symbol of sustainability. Village forest gardens also solve problems like land damage, loss of forests, and lack of energy in rural areas. They are vital for a community’s health, jobs, economy, food, and the environment. This study presents information on the effects of saltwater intrusion on the composition , land usage and growth characteristics of terrestrial vegetation in village forest gardens at Java’s Northeast coast and its socio-economic consequences.

It was concluded that the extent of saltwater intrusion in village gardens decreases moving away from the coast to land inwards. Tidal floods are increasing in frequency in this area and affecting livelihoods that are facing land subsidence, coastal erosion and saltwater intrusion. The study indicates that village gardens in coastal livelihoods play an important role in sustaining the biodiversity of relevant economic relevant food source species like Jambu air (Syzygium aqueum), mango (Mangifera indica) and banana (Musa paradisiaca). However, Jambu air and mango showed significance differences in abundance between low and high saline environments indicating the threat of saltwater intrusion to these crops. I am grateful for all the experiences and wonderful people I have met during my time in Indonesia, I could not have done my thesis without them.