The role of saltwort (Batis maritima L.) in regeneration of degraded mangrove forests
- 148 Downloads
While saltwort (Batis maritima L.) is common in the fringe mangrove forests of southwest Florida, its role in regeneration of degraded mangrove communities is not known. Given the potential encroachment and subsequent degradation of mangrove communities by sea-level rise, it is important to quantify the effect of early-colonizing vegetation to early mangrove seedling survival. A greater number of mangrove seedlings were observed in existing B. maritima patches compared to surrounding mudflats. A planting experiment was designed to determine whether B. maritima was responsible for the observed pattern. Black mangrove (Avicennia germinans L.) seedlings, raised in a nursery, were planted in previously established B. maritima patches and on mudflats with and without nursery-raised B. maritima. There was significantly lower mortality of A. germinans seedlings when planted in existing B. maritima patches (69%), compared to seedlings planted on the mudflats (93%), demonstrating that existing B. maritima improved A. germinans seedling survival. Nursery-raised B. maritima had lower mortality on open mudflats (28%), suggesting that it can tolerate conditions, which make it an early colonizer of newly available habitats. The primary mechanism proposed for improving seedling success is a slight increase in elevation provided by the dense root network of established B. maritima. These findings have implications for scientists and managers anticipating the response of mangroves to sea-level rise.
KeywordsAvicennia germinans (L.) mangroves sediment condition sea-level rise colonization succession restoration
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Begon M., Harper J. L. and Townsend C. R. (1996). Ecology. Blackwell Scientific, Australia, 1068Google Scholar
- Crewz D. W. and Lewis R. R. (1991). An Evaluation of Historical Attempts to Establish Emergent Vegetation in Marine wetlands in Florida. Florida Sea Grant Technical Publication No. 60. Florida Sea Grant College, Gainesville, FLGoogle Scholar
- Dytham C. (2003). Choosing and using Statistics: A Biologists Guide. Blackwell Scientific, Victoria, Australia, 246Google Scholar
- Ellison A. M. and Farnsworth E. J. (2001). Mangrove communities. In: Bertness, M. D., Gaines, S. D. and Hay, M. E. (eds) Marine Community Ecology, pp 550. Sinauer, MAGoogle Scholar
- Odum W. E. and McIvor C. C. (1982). The Ecology of the Mangroves of South Florida: A Community Profile. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Biological Services, Washington, DC, 144Google Scholar
- Semeniuk V. (1994). Predicting the effect of sea-level rise on mangroves in northwestern Australia. Journal of Coastal Research 10: 1050–1076Google Scholar
- Sokal R. R. and Rohlf F. J. (1991). Biometry. Freeman, New York, 829Google Scholar
- Wolanski E., Mazda Y. and Ridd P. (1992). Mangrove hydrodynamics. In: Robertson, A. I. and Alongi, D. M. (eds) Tropical Mangrove Ecosystems, pp 436–462. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- Zimmerman C. F., French T. D. and Montgomery J. R. (1981). Transplanting and survival of the seagrass Halodule wrightii under controlled conditions. Northeast Gulf Science 4: 131–136Google Scholar