Evaluating the relative contributions of hydroperiod and soil fertility on growth of south Florida mangroves Article DOI:
10.1007/s10750-006-0139-7 Cite this article as: Krauss, K.W., Doyle, T.W., Twilley, R.R. et al. Hydrobiologia (2006) 569: 311. doi:10.1007/s10750-006-0139-7 Abstract
Low and high water periods create contrasting challenges for trees inhabiting periodically flooded wetlands. Low to moderate flood durations and frequencies may bring nutrient subsidies, while greater hydroperiods can be energetically stressful because of oxygen deficiency. We tested the hypothesis that hydroperiod affects the growth of mangrove seedlings and saplings in a greenhouse experiment by varying flood duration while keeping salinity and soil fertility constant. We measured the growth of mangrove trees along a hydroperiod gradient over a two-year period by tracking fine-scale diameter increment. Greenhouse growth studies indicated that under a full range of annual flood durations (0–8760 h/year), hydroperiod alone exerted a significant influence on growth for one species,
Laguncularia racemosa, when flooding was imposed for two growing seasons. Field evaluations, on the other hand, indicated that increased flood duration may provide nutrient subsidies for tree growth. Diameter growth was related curvilinearly to site hydroperiod, including flood duration and frequency, as well as to salinity and soil fertility. An analysis of soil physico-chemical parameters suggests that phosphorus fertility, which was also linked directly to hydroperiod, is likely to influence growth on south Florida mangrove sites. The physical removal of phosphorus by greater flood frequencies from upland sources and/or addition of phosphorus from tidal flooding balanced against increased soil aeration and reduced water deficits may be an extremely important growth determinant for south Florida mangroves. Keywords Avicennia germinans diameter increment flooding Laguncularia racemosa productivity Rhizophora mangle References Aspila, K. I., Agemian, H., Chau, S. Y. 1976 A semi-automated method for determination of inorganic, organic and total phosphorus in sediments Analyst 101 187 197 PubMed CrossRef Google Scholar Brown, S. L. 1981 A comparison of the structure, primary productivity, and transpiration of cypress ecosystems in Florida Ecological Monographs 51 403 427 CrossRef Google Scholar Cahoon, D. R., Lynch, J. C. 1997 Vertical accretion and shallow subsidence in a mangrove forest of southwestern Florida, U.S.A Mangroves and Salt Marshes 1 173 186 CrossRef Google Scholar Cattelino, P. J., Becker, C. A., Fuller, L. G. 1986 Construction and installation of homemade dendrometer bands Northern Journal of Applied Forestry 3 73 75 Google Scholar Chapman, V. J. 1976Mangrove Vegetation J. Cramer Vaduz, Germany Google Scholar Chen, R., Twilley, R. R. 1998 A gap dynamic model of mangrove forest development along gradients of soil salinity and nutrient resources Journal of Ecology 86 37 52 CrossRef Google Scholar Chen, R., Twilley, R. R. 1999 Patterns of mangrove forest structure and soil nutrient dynamics along the Shark River Estuary, Florida Estuaries 22 955 970 CrossRef Google Scholar Davis, S. E., III, Childers, D. L., Day, J. W., Jr., Rudnick, D. T., Sklar, F. H. 2001 Wetland-water column exchanges of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in a southern Everglades dwarf mangrove Estuaries 24 610 622 Google Scholar
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