, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 81-86

Mangrove inundation and nutrient dynamics from a GIS perspective

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Abstract

A digital elevation model describing topography, tide elevation and inundation degree and frequency of a mangrove forest in North Brazil is discussed in relation to existing phosphate and physicochemical data in waters of an adjacent tidal creek. Due to smooth topography, an increase of 20 cm in tidal height above average neap tides increases flooded area from about 50 to 80%. Analysis of the relationship between microtopography, tidal height and flooding rate showed that in the upper 60 cm of the mangrove forest, increases of 20 cm in topographical height resulted in a doubling of the inundation frequency. This can be particularly relevant for the analysis of nutrient mobilization and vegetation structure of infrequently inundated wetlands. Throughout the year, low-tide phosphate in creek water was inversely proportional to the maximum area flooded during high tide, this correlation being higher during the dry season. Similarly, the inverse relationship between flooded areas and low-tide/high-tide pH ratios was highly significant during the dry season and the beginning of the rainy season. Although the high correlations obtained are based on data pairs obtained at high and low tide, it has to clarified whether the association between inundation degree and creek water pH is relevant for the stability of P compounds in sediment on the short scale of a tidal cycle.