, Volume 569, Issue 1, pp 325–341 | Cite as

Responses of neotropical mangrove seedlings grown in monoculture and mixed culture under treatments of hydroperiod and salinity

  • Pablo Cardona-Olarte
  • Robert R. Twilley
  • Ken W. Krauss
  • Victor Rivera-Monroy


We investigated the combined effects of salinity and hydroperiod on seedlings of Rhizophora mangle and Laguncularia racemosa grown under experimental conditions of monoculture and mixed culture by using a simulated tidal system. The objective was to test hypotheses relative to species interactions to either tidal or permanent flooding at salinities of 10 or 40 g/l. Four-month-old seedlings were experimentally manipulated under these environmental conditions in two types of species interactions: (1) seedlings of the same species were grown separately in containers from September 2000 to August 2001 to evaluate intraspecific response and (2) seedlings of each species were mixed in containers to evaluate interspecific, competitive responses from August 2002 to April 2003. Overall, L. racemosa was strongly sensitive to treatment combinations while R. mangle showed little effect. Most plant responses of L. racemosa were affected by both salinity and hydroperiod, with hydroperiod inducing more effects than salinity. Compared to R. mangle, L. racemosa in all treatment combinations had higher relative growth rate, leaf area ratio, specific leaf area, stem elongation, total length of branches, net primary production, and stem height. Rhizophora mangle had higher biomass allocation to roots. Species growth differentiation was more pronounced at low salinity, with few species differences at high salinity under permanent flooding. These results suggest that under low to mild stress by hydroperiod and salinity, L. racemosa exhibits responses that favor its competitive dominance over R. mangle. This advantage, however, is strongly reduced as stress from salinity and hydroperiod increase.


wetland competition mangrove traits flooding Laguncularia racemosa biomass allocation Rhizophora mangle 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ball, M. C. 1980Patterns of secondary succession in a mangrove forest of Southern FloridaOecologia44226235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ball, M. C. 1988aEcophysiology of mangrovesTrees2129142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ball, M. C. 1988bSalinity tolerance in two mangroves, Aegiceras corniculatum and Avicennia marina I. Water use efficiency in relation to growth, carbon partitioning, and salt balance. AustralianJournal of Plant Physiology15447464Google Scholar
  4. Ball, M. C. 1996Comparative ecophysiology of mangrove forests and tropical lowland moist rainforestMulkey, S. S.Chazdon, R. L.Smith, A. P. eds. Tropical Forest Plant EcophysiologyChapman and HallNY461496Google Scholar
  5. Bazzaz, F. A. 1990Plant–plant interactions in successional environmentsGrace, J. B.Tilman, D. eds. Perspectives on Plant CompetitionAcademic Press, IncSan Diego, CA239263Google Scholar
  6. Bazzaz, F. A., Chiariello, N. R., Coley, P. D., Pitelka, L. F. 1987Allocating resources to reproduction and defenseBioScience375867CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bloom, A., Chapin, F. S. I., Mooney, H. A. 1985Resource limitation in plants – an economic analogyAnnual Review of Ecology and Systematics16363392Google Scholar
  8. Boto, K. G. 1983Nutrient status and other soil factors affecting mangrove productivity in north-east AustraliaWetlands34550Google Scholar
  9. Burslem, D. F. R. P., Grubb, P. J., Turner, I. M. 1995Responses to nutrient addition among shade-tolerant tree seedlings of lowland tropical rain forest in SingaporeJournal of Ecology83113122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Caldwell, M. M. 1987Plant architecture and resource competitionSchulze, E. D.Zwölfer, H. eds. Potentials and Limitations of Ecosystem AnalysesSpringer-VerlagBerlin164179Google Scholar
  11. Canham, C. D., Marks, P. L. 1985The response of woody plants to disturbance: patterns of establishment and growthPickett, S. T. A.White, P. S. eds. The Ecology of Natural Disturbance and Patch DynamicsAcademic Press IncSan Diego, CA197216Google Scholar
  12. Chapin, F. S. 1980The mineral nutrition of wild plantsAnnual Review of Ecology and Systematics11233260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chapin, F. S., Bloom, A. J., Field, C. B., Waring, R. H. 1987Plant responses to multiple environmental factorsBioScience374957CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chapin, F. S., Schulze, E.-D., Mooney, H. A. 1990The ecology and economics of storage in plantsAnnual Review of Ecology and Systematics21423447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chapman, V. J. 1976Mangrove VegetationJ. CramerVaduz, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  16. Chen, R., Twilley, R. R. 1998A gap dynamic model of mangrove forest development along gradients of soil salinity and nutrient resourcesJournal of Ecology863751CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chen, R., Twilley, R. R. 1999Patterns of mangrove forest structure and soil nutrient dynamics along the Shark River estuaryEstuaries22955970CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Clarke, P. J., Myerscough, P. J. 1993The intertidal distribution of the grey mangrove (Avicennia marina) in southeastern Australia: the effects of physical conditions, interspecific competition, and predation on propagule establishment and survivalAustralian Journal of Ecology18307315Google Scholar
  19. Coleman, J. S., McConnaughay, K. D. M. 1995A non-functional interpretation of a classical optimal-partitioning exampleFunctional Ecology9951954Google Scholar
  20. Delgado, P., Hensel, P. F., Jiménez, J. A., Day, J. W.,Jr. 2001The importance of propagule establishment and physical factors in mangrove distributional patterns in a Costa Rican estuaryAquatic Botany71157178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Doyle, T. W., Girod, G. F., Books, M. A. 2003Modeling mangrove forest migration along the southwest coast of Florida under climate changeNing, Z. H.Turner, R. E.Doyle, T. W.Abdollahi, K. eds. Integrated Assessment of the Climate Change Impacts on the Gulf Coast RegionGRCCC and LSU Graphic ServicesBaton Rouge, LA211221Google Scholar
  22. Duarte, C. M., Geertz-Hansen, O., Thampanya, U., Terrados, J., Fortes, M. D., Kamp-Nielsen, L., Borum, J., Boromthanarath, S. 1998Relationship between sediment conditions and mangrove Rhizophora apiculata seedlings growth and nutrient statusMarine Ecology Progress Series175277283Google Scholar
  23. Ellison, A. M. 2002Macroecology of mangroves: large-scale patterns and processes in tropical coastal forestsTrees16181194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ellison, A. M., Farnsworth, E. J. 1993Seedling survivorships, growth, and response to disturbance in Belizean mangalAmerican Journal of Botany8011371145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ellison, A. M., Farnsworth, E. J. 1997Simulated sea level change alters anatomy, physiology, growth, and reproduction of red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle L.)Oecologia112435446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gaudet, C. L., Keddy, P. A. 1988A comparative approach to predicting competitive ability from plant traitsNature334242243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gedroc, J. J., McConnaghay, K. D. M., Coleman, J. S. 1996Plasticity in root/shoot partitioning: optimal, ontogenetic, or both?Functional Ecology104450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gleason, S. M., Ewel, K. C., Hue, N. 2003Soil redox conditions and plant–soil relationships in a Micronesian mangrove forestEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science56111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gleeson, S. K., Tilman, D. 1992Plant allocation and the multiple limitation hypothesisAmerican Naturalist13913221343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Grime, J. P., Campbell, B. D. 1991Growth rate, habitat, productivity, and plant strategy as predictors of stress responsesMooney, H. A.Winner, W. E.Pell, E. J. eds. Response of Plants to Multiple StressesAcademic Press, IncSan Diego CA143159Google Scholar
  31. Grime, J. P., Hunt, R. 1975Relative growth rate: its range and adaptative significance in a local floraJournal of Ecology63393422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Grubb, P. J. 1977Control of forest growth and distribution on wet tropical mountains: with special reference to plant nutritionAnnual Review of Ecology and Systematics883107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Harper, J. L. 1977Population Biology of PlantsAcademic PressLondonGoogle Scholar
  34. Hirose, T. 1987A vegetative plant growth model: adaptative significance of phenotypic plasticity in matter partitioningFunctional Ecology1195202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Huston, M., Smith, T. 1987Plant succession: life history and competitionAmerican Naturalist130168198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hutchings, P. A., Saenger, P. 1987Ecology of MangrovesUniversity of Queensland PressSt. Lucia, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  37. Inouye, B. D. 2001Response surface experimental designs for investigating interspecific competitionEcology8226962706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kenward, M. G., Roger, J. H. 1997Small sample inference for fixed effects from restricted maximum likelihoodBiometrics53983997PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Koch, M. S., 1996. Resource availability and abiotic effects on Rhizophora mangle L. (Red Mangrove) development in South Florida. Dissertation, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL.Google Scholar
  40. Koch, M. S., Snedaker, S. C. 1997Factors influencing Rhizophora mangle L. seedling development in Everglades carbonate soilsAquatic Botany598798CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Koch, M. S., Mendelssohn, I. A., McKee, K. L. 1990Mechanisms for the hydrogen sulfide-induced growth limitation in wetland macrophytesLimnology and Oceanography35399408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Koike, F. 2001Plant traits as predictors of woody species dominance in climax forest communitiesJournal of Vegetation Science12327336Google Scholar
  43. Krauss, K. W., Allen, J. A. 2003Influences of salinity and shade on seedling photosynthesis and growth of two mangrove species, Rhizophora mangle and Bruguiera sexangula, introduced to HawaiiAquatic Botany77311324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Krauss, K. W., Doyle, T. W., Twilley, R. R., Rivera-Monroy, V. H., Sullivan, J. K. 2006Evaluating the relative contributions of hydroperiod and soil fertility on growth of south Florida mangrovesHydrobiologia569311324Google Scholar
  45. Kylin, A., Gee, R. 1970Adenosine triphosphatase activities in leaves of the mangrove Avicennia nitida JacqPlant Physiology45169172PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lambers, H., Poorter, H. 1992Inherent variation in growth rate between higher plants: a search for physiological causes and ecological consequencesAdvances in Ecological Research23187261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Leishman, M. R. 1999How well do plant traits correlate with establishment ability? evidence from a study of 16 calcareous grassland speciesNew Phytologist141487496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. McConnaughay, K. D., Coleman, J. S. 1999Biomass allocation in plants: ontogeny or optimality? A test along three resource gradientsEcology8025812593CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. McGuinness, K. A. 1997Dispersal, establishment and survival of Ceriops tagal propagules in a north Australian mangrove forestOecologia1098087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. McKee, K. L., 1993a. Determinants of mangrove species distribution in neotropical forests: biotic and abiotic factors affecting seedling survival and growth. Ph.D. dissertation, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.Google Scholar
  51. McKee, K. L. 1993bSoil physicochemical patterns and mangrove species distribution – reciprocal effects?Journal of Ecology81477487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. McKee, K. L. 1995aSeedling recruitment patterns in a Belizean mangrove forest: effects of establishment ability and physicochemical factorsOecologia101448460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. McKee, K. L. 1995bMangrove species distribution and propagule predation in Belize: an exception to the dominance-predation hypothesisBiotropica27334345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. McKee, K. L. 1995cInterspecific variation in growth, biomass partitioning, and defensive characteristics of neotropical mangrove seedlings: response to light and nutrient availabilityAmerican Journal of Botany82299307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. McKee, K. L. 1996Growth and physiological responses of neotropical mangrove seedlings to root zone hypoxiaTree Physiology16883889PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. McKee, K. L., Mendelssohn, I. A. 1987Root metabolism in the black mangrove (Avicennia germinans (L.) L): response to hypoxiaEnvironmental and Experimental Botany27147156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. McKee, K. L., Mendelssohn, I. A., Hester, M. W. 1988Reexamination of pore water sulfide concentrations and redox potentials near the aerial roots of Rhizophora mangle and Avicennia germinans American Journal of Botany7513521359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Naidoo, G. 1985Effects of waterlogging and salinity on plant-water relations and on the accumulation of solutes in three mangrove speciesAquatic Botany22133143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Onuf, C. P., Teal, J. M., Valiela, I. 1977Interactions of nutrients, plant growth and herbivory in a mangrove ecosystemEcology58514526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Parsons, T. R., Maita, Y., Lalli, C. M. 1984A Manual of Chemical and Biological Methods for Seawater AnalysisPergamon PressNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  61. Pattison, R. R., Goldstein, G., Ares, A. 1998Growth, biomass allocation and photosynthesis of invasive and native Hawaiian rainforest speciesOecologia117449459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Pezeshki, S. R., DeLaune, R. D., Patrick, W. H.,Jr. 1990Differential response of selected mangroves to soil flooding and salinity: gas exchange and biomass partitioningCanadian Journal of Forest Research20869874Google Scholar
  63. Poorter, H., Remkes, C. 1990Leaf area ratio and net assimilation rate of 24 wild species differing in relative growth rateOecologia83553559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Pywell, R. F., Bullock, J. M., Roy, D. B., Warman, L., Walker, K. J., Rothery, P. 2003Plant traits as predictors of performance in ecological restorationJournal of Ecology406577Google Scholar
  65. Rabinowitz, D. 1978Early growth of mangrove seedlings in Panama, and an hypothesis concerning the relationships of dispersal and zonationJournal of Biogeography5113133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Reich, P. B., Walters, M. B., Ellsworth, D. S. 1992Leaf life-span in relation to leaf, plant, and stand characteristics among diverse ecosystemsEcological Monographs62365392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Robertson, A. I., Giddons, R., Smith, T. J.,III 1990Seed predation by insects in tropical mangrove forests: extent and effects on seed viability and the growth of seedlingsOecologia83213219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Rosenfeld, J. K. 1979Interstitial water and sediment chemistry of two cores from Florida BayJournal of Sedimentary Petrology49989994Google Scholar
  69. Scholander, P. F., Dam, I., Scholander, S. I. 1955Gas exchange in the roots of mangrovesAmerican Journal of Botany429298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Schulze, E. D., Chapin, F. S. I. 1987Plant specialization to environments of different resource availabilitySchulze, E. D.Zwölfer, H. eds. Potentials and Limitations of Ecosystem AnalysesSpringer-VerlagBerlin120148Google Scholar
  71. Sherman, R. E., Fahey, J. T., Howarth, R. W. 1998Soil–plant interactions in a tropical mangrove forest: iron, phosphorus and sulfur dynamicsOecologia115553563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Sherman, R. E., Fahey, J. T., Battles, J. J. 2000Small-scale disturbance and regeneration dynamics in a neotropical mangrove forestJournal of Ecology88165178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Sherman, R. E., Fahey, T. J., Martinez, P. 2001Hurricane impacts on a mangrove forest in the Dominican Republic: damage patterns and early recoveryBiotropica33393408Google Scholar
  74. Shipley, B., Meziane, D. 2002The balanced-growth hypothesis and the allometry of leaf and root biomass allocationFunctional Ecology16326331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Smith, S. M., Snedaker, S. C. 1995Salinity responses in two populations of viviparous Rhizophora mangle L. seedlingsBiotropica27435440CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Smith, S. M., Snedaker, S. C. 2000Hypocotyl function in seedling development of red mangroves, Rhizophora mangle LBiotropica34677685CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Smith, T., Huston, M. 1989A theory of the spatial and temporal dynamics of plant communitiesVegetatio834969CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Smith, T. J.,III 1988Differential distribution between sub-species of the mangrove Ceriops tagal: competitive interactions along a salinity gradientAquatic Botany327989CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Smith, T. J.,III, Robblee, M. B., Wanless, H. R., Doyle, T. W. 1994Mangroves, hurricanes, and lightning strikesBioScience44256262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Sousa, W. P., Quek, S. P., Mitchell, B. J. 2003Regeneration of Rhizophora mangle in a Caribbean mangrove forest: interacting effects of canopy disturbance and a stem-boring beetleOecologia137436445PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Stevens, M. H. H., Carson, W. P. 1999Plant density determines species richness along an experimental fertility gradientEcology80455465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Tilman, D. 1982Resource Competition and Community StructurePrinceton University PressPrinceton NJGoogle Scholar
  83. Tilman, D. 1988Plant Strategies and the Dynamics and Structure of Plant CommunitiesPrinceton University PressPrinceton NJGoogle Scholar
  84. Twilley, R. R., Rivera-Monroy, V. H., Chen, R., Botero, L. 1998Adapting an ecological mangrove model to simulate trajectories in restoration ecologyMarine Pollution Bulletin37404419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Twilley, R. R., Rivera-Monroy, V. H. 2005Developing Performance Measures of Mangrove Wetlands Using Simulation Models of Hydrology, Nutrient Biogeochemistry and Community DynamicsJournal of Coastal Research407993Google Scholar
  86. Wadsworth, F. H. 1959Growth and regeneration of white mangrove in Puerto RicoCaribbean Forester205971Google Scholar
  87. Welden, C. W., Hewett, S. W., Hubbell, S. P., Foster, R. B. 1991Sapling survival, growth, and recruitment: relationship to canopy height in a neotropical forestEcology723540CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo Cardona-Olarte
    • 1
    • 4
  • Robert R. Twilley
    • 2
  • Ken W. Krauss
    • 3
  • Victor Rivera-Monroy
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Center for Ecology and Environmental TechnologyUniversity of Louisiana at LafayetteLafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Department of Oceanography and Coastal Science, Wetland Biogeochemistry InstituteLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  3. 3.U.S. Geological Survey, National Wetlands Research CenterLafayetteUSA
  4. 4.Pablo Cardona-OlarteCaliColombia

Personalised recommendations