, 20:679 | Cite as

Ecophysiological characteristics of Avicennia germinans and Laguncularia racemosa coexisting in a scrub mangrove forest at the Indian River Lagoon, Florida

  • M. A. Sobrado
  • Sharon M. L. Ewe
Original Article


The purpose of this work is to increase ecological understanding of Avicennia germinans L. and Laguncularia racemosa (L.) Gaertn. F. growing in hypersaline habitats with a seasonal climate. The area has a dry season (DS) with low temperature and vapour pressure deficit (vpd), and a wet season (WS) with high temperature and slightly higher vpd. Seasonal patterns in interstitial soil water salinity suggested a lack of tidal flushing in this area to remove salt along the soil profile. The soil solution sodium/potassium (Na+/K+) ratio differed slightly along the soil profile during the DS, but during the WS it was significantly higher at the soil surface. Diurnal changes in xylem osmolality between predawn (higher) and midday (lower) were observed in both species. However, A. germinans had higher xylem osmolality compared to L. racemosa. Xylem Na+/K+ suggested higher selectivity of K+ over Na+ in both species and seasons. The water relations parameters derived from pressure–volume PV curves were relatively stable between seasons for each species. The range of water potentials (Ψ), measured in the field, was within estimated values for turgor maintenance from PV curves. Thus the leaves of both species were osmotically adapted to maintain continued water uptake in this hypersaline mangrove environment.


Leaf nitrogen partition Potassium uptake selectivity Soil salinity Water relations Xylem osmolality Scrub forest 



This is a Smithsonian Marine Station (SMS) Contribution No. 663, Southeast Environmental Research Center Contribution No. 330 and Universidad Simón Bolívar (DID-FT-2005). We are pleased to thank Dr. V. Paul for giving us the opportunity to conduct this study at SMS, J. Kaminski, H. Reichardt, J. Piraino and W. Lee for logistic and technical support at the SMS at Fort Pierce, as well as the referees and Professor E. Medina (IVIC, Venezuela) for helpful suggestions on this manuscript. Ewe was in part supported by the National Science Foundation (DEB-9910514) during this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratorio de Biología Ambiental de Plantas, Departamento de Biología de Organismos, División de Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad Simón BolívarCaracasVenezuela
  2. 2.Southeast Environmental Research CenterFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Smithsonian Marine StationFort PierceUSA

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