, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 1919-1931
Date: 15 Aug 2012

Temperature variation among mangrove latitudinal range limits worldwide

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Abstract

Mangroves are mainly tropical tree species that occur on either side of the equator and because temperature decreases with increasing latitude, the latitudinal limits of mangroves are expected to be mainly controlled by temperature-related drivers. Here, we hypothesized that the mangrove genera (Avicennia and Rhizophora) have the same limiting temperature at all of their upper latitudinal limits at the global scale. We first derived six parameters from monthly mean sea surface temperature (SST) and air temperature (AT). Furthermore, we investigated whether the variation in these temperature parameters is related (i) to the position of the limit, (ii) to specific temperature requirements of congeneric species and/or (iii) to aridity. All temperature-based parameters derived from AT and SST are highly variable among the upper latitudinal limits of Avicennia and Rhizophora. Hence, we found no common isotherms to characterize the limits of the two mangrove genera, which contradict previous studies. The high temperature variation among limits can be due to partial range filling towards the latitudinal limits. This is supported by the higher warmest month temperatures at the latitudinal limits of the northern hemisphere as compared to the southern hemisphere. However, temperature parameters at limits, with no or less than 250 km of available poleward coast, are not different from other limits, and adult tree height at the limits is not correlated with the temperature-based variables. Mean air temperature is warmer at limits with an arid climate, suggesting mechanisms of compensation towards higher temperatures when Avicennia and Rhizophora have to cope with both aridity and low temperature.

Communicated by C. Lovelock.