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Development of allometric relations for three mangrove species in South Florida for use in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem restoration

Abstract

Mathematical relations that use easily measured variables to predict difficult-to-measure variables are important to resource managers. In this paper we develop allometric relations to predict total aboveground biomass and individual components of biomass (e.g., leaves, stems, branches) for three species of mangroves for Everglades National Park, Florida, USA. The Greater Everglades Ecosystem is currently the subject of a 7.8-billion-dollar restoration program sponsored by federal, state, and local agencies. Biomass and production of mangroves are being used as a measure of restoration success. A technique for rapid determination of biomass over large areas is required. We felled 32 mangrove trees and separated each plant into leaves, stems, branches, and for Rhizophora mangle L., prop roots. Wet weights were measured in the field and subsamples returned to the laboratory for determination of wet-to-dry weight conversion factors. The diameter at breast height (DBH) and stem height were also measured. Allometric equations were developed for each species for total biomass and components of biomass. We compared our equations with those from the same, or similar, species from elsewhere in the world. Our equations explained ≥93% of the variance in total dry weight using DBH. DBH is a better predictor of dry weight than is stem height and DBH is much easier to measure. Furthermore, our results indicate that there are biogeographic differences in allometric relations between regions. For a given DBH, stems of all three species have less mass in Florida than stems from elsewhere in the world.

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Abbreviations

DBH:

diameter at breast height

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Correspondence to Thomas J. Smith III.

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Smith, T.J., Whelan, K.R.T. Development of allometric relations for three mangrove species in South Florida for use in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem restoration. Wetlands Ecol Manage 14, 409–419 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-005-6243-z

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Keywords

  • Biogeographic comparison
  • Biomass
  • Diameter
  • Height
  • Power law
  • Restoration
  • Scaling relation