The determination of the age and growth of SE Asian mangrove seedlings from internodal counts
- Cite this article as:
- Duarte, C.M., Thampanya, U., Terrados, J. et al. Mangroves and Salt Marshes (1999) 3: 251. doi:10.1023/A:1009967401337
The occurrence of periodic changes in the length of the internodes of the seedlings of SE Asian mangrove species (Rhizophora apiculata, Avicennia alba, and Sonneratia caseolaris) growing in the Pak Phanang estuary (Nakhon Si Thammarat, SE Thailand) was confirmed. The annual nature of these periodic changes was verified through comparisons with the observed average number of internodes produced by plants tagged for one year. The cycles in the sequence of internodal length of the seedlings had an average (± SE) period of 16.0 ± 0.78 internodes for Avicennia alba, 25.0 ± 1.2 internodes for Sonneratia caseolaris, and 8.29 ± 0.40 internodes for Rhizophora apiculata. These values are remarkably close to, and not significantly different (t‐test, P > 0.05) from the average (± SE) annual number of internodes of 17.6 ± 0.8 for Avicennia alba, 28.8 ± 2.1 for Sonneratia caseolaris, and 8.03 ± 0.36 for Rhizophora apiculata produced in a year by tagged plants. In addition, the average (± SE) growth of the tagged plants was 0.39 ± 0.018 cm day-1 for Avicennia alba, 0.24 ± 0.015 cm day-1 for Sonneratia caseolaris, and 0.091 ± 0.0036 cm day-1 for Rhizophora apiculata. These estimates were very close to those (0.45 ± 0.06 cm day-1 for Avicennia alba, 0.32 ± 0.01 cm day-1 for Sonneratia caseolaris, and 0.13 ± 0.005 cm day-1 for Rhizophora apiculata) derived as the product of the mean number of internodes produced per day, calculated from the inferred number of internodes produced per year, and the mean length of the internodes of the plants. These findings indicate that the use of regular, annual changes in the length of the internodes of mangrove seedlings can be used reliably to determine their age and to estimate their growth rate.