, Volume 295, Issue 1-3, pp 23-29

Ventilation and respiration in roots of one-year-old seedlings of grey mangrove Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh.

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Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh. was grown from seed for 12 months in artificially tidal tanks providing a range of duration and depth of inundation. Plant growth characteristics were measured at harvest. Root aerenchyma development was estimated by pycnometry, root respiration rates by manometry, and the oxygen supply capacity of the above-ground portions of the plant was determined using oxygen electrode chambers. The mass per plant at harvest was influenced by the extent of inundation during growth with maximal growth at intermediate-length (1.5 to 6.5 h per tide) inundation periods. Those plants that had been submerged the longest (8.5 h per tide) had the least root tissue. The oxygen conductance of the stem base plus any pneumatophores showed a maximum in plants grown under intermediate inundation. Oxygen demand and internal gas space per unit dry weight of root were independent of extent of inundation. During high tide the plants grown at inundation periods of more than about 3–5 hours per tide were likely to become anaerobic. This may constitute a physiological limit for this species at the bottom of the tidal range.