Stand densities and biomass were significantly higher in co-managed than in state-managed mangrove forests.
Co-managed forest had significantly more merchantable pole density and significantly higher natural regeneration.
Enhanced community patrols and surveillance has led to improved management of mangroves in the area.
Sales of carbon credits from co-managed forests have served as a strong incentive for promoting mangrove rehabilitation, surveillance, and monitoring.
Both co-managed and state-managed mangrove stands were characterized by high concentrations of small sized diameter and height classes signifying young forests under constant utilization.
Participatory forestry has been recognized as a tool for improving tropical forest management. The current study assessed the impacts of participatory forest management (PFM) on the structure and regeneration of a mangrove forest at Gazi Bay, Kenya. Data were collected along belt transects perpendicular to the waterline in both co-managed and state-managed mangrove forests. Basal area and standing density were significantly higher in the co-managed mangrove forests (16 m2/ha and 4 341 tree/ha) as compared to the state forests (eastern block 10.3 m2/ha and 2 673 trees/ha; western block 6.2 m2/ha and 2 436 trees/ha). There were significantly higher (p = 0.0068) densities of merchantable poles in community-managed as compared to state-managed forests. Natural regeneration patterns in community-managed and state-managed forests were deemed adequate to support the recovery of both forests. The results demonstrate that community participation contributes to improved management of mangrove forests and is in agreement with the principles of sustainable forest management.