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Research articles

ScienceAsia 39 (2013): 105-110 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2013.39.105

Ecological importance and biological resource conservation of Boraphet marsh, Thailand

Ratcha Chaichanaa,b,*, Sansanee Choowaewc

ABSTRACT:     Boraphet marsh, the biggest shallow lake of Thailand, provides an important protein source and income for people in the upper north central region and provides a significant habitat for aquatic flora and fauna. The lake is divided into two zones including the strictly non-fishing and fishing zones with the main purposes of conserving rich biological resources. Here we investigated differences of water quality as well as aquatic resources between the strictly non-fishing and fishing zones. The results revealed that quality of water between the two zones was not significantly different with the exception of ammonium nitrogen and soluble reactive phosphorus that were higher in the strictly non-fishing zone. This could be the result of development projects (guest houses and restaurants) in the strictly non-fishing zone. Most species of biological resources was comparable between the two zones. However, species of macrophyte appeared to be higher in the fishing zone. Also, fish species and productivity in the strictly non-fishing zone were significantly higher than in the fishing zone and this might be the result of over-exploitation or perhaps together with the use of illegal and destructive fishing gears. In conclusion, the conservation zone implemented since 1947 has been successful as indicated by higher fish production than in the fishing zone. However, enhancing aquatic resource production in the fishing zone and promoting wise use of natural resources are still needed for future sustainable conservation of Boraphet marsh.

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a Department of Environmental Technology and Management, Faculty of Environment, Kasetsart University, Thailand
b Centre for Advanced Studies in Tropical Natural Resources, NRU-KU, Kasetsart University, Thailand
c Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahidol University, Thailand

* Corresponding author, E-mail: fscircc@ku.ac.th

Received 9 Dec 2012, Accepted 20 Feb 2013