Patterns of secondary succession in a mangrove forest of Southern Florida
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- Ball, M.C. Oecologia (1980) 44: 226. doi:10.1007/BF00572684
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Successional patterns were studied in mangrove forests which had developed recently in response to salinization of areas formerly supporting freshwater marshes along Biscayne Bay in North Miami, Florida. The population structures of these Induced Forests were compared with an adjacent Historical Forest which consisted of a nearly pure stand ofRhizophora mangle. A mixed forest ofRhizophora andLaguncularia racemosa had developed in intertidal areas, while areas above the mean high water elevation supported a scrub community dominated byLaguncularia. Maximum growth of bothRhizophora andLaguncularia occurred in intertidal areas, while both species were stunted and had sparse, poorly formed canopies in drier environments above the mean high water level. Analysis of population structure suggests that Induced Forests in intertidal areas are undergoing succession to a stand ofRhizophora. Laguncularia is unable to compete effectively withRhizophora in these areas and it is suggested that it eventually will be limited to the drier areas, where competition fromRhizophora will be reduced or absent.