Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 273–293 | Cite as

Forest structure, productivity and species phenology of mangroves in the La Mancha lagoon in the Atlantic coast of Mexico

  • C. M. Agraz HernándezEmail author
  • C. García Zaragoza
  • S. Iriarte-Vivar
  • F. J. Flores-Verdugo
  • P. Moreno Casasola
Original Paper


We described, through a vegetation profile, the forest structure (density, basal area, tree height, and species composition), the productivity dynamics (based on litterfall) and the species phenology of distinct physiognomic types of mangroves in three locations of the La Mancha lagoon system in Veracruz, Mexico, during a complete annual cycle. We also evaluated the microtopography and ground water salinity along the profile and their relationship with forest structure and productivity. The South location showed four physiognomic types, whose forest attributes decreased as they were farther from the lagoon shore. Productivity and environment variables significantly varied among these physiognomic types. The Center location had two physiognomic types; there were significant differences in productivity and microtopography among these types, but not in salinity. The North location included two fragments of a basin forest type, and a pasture among them; productivity significantly varied among these forests, but microtopography and salinity were statistically similar. All study sites showed the following behavior: (1) as forest structure decreased, productivity also decreased and the dominant species changed. (2) As water salinity decreased, species dominance changed and productivity increased. Reproductive structures showed a notorious seasonality during the year in all species, except in R. mangle, which showed a permanent flower and propagules production. A. germinans reproduced only in the rainy season (August and September), because of their life history characteristics, whereas L. racemosa reproduced during the months of February and March as a response of the direct entrance of the water discharges, enriched with nutrients, that come from the sugar cane and rice crops. The South location was a relatively well conserved area, whereas the two other sites showed evidences of anthropic disturbances.


Mangroves Forest structure Litterfall Microtopography Salinity 



Data from this study were obtained through the project “Carbon Store, Sequestration, Protection and Management of Swamp Forest and Wetlands of Mexico”, which was funded by The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), in collaboration with The Center of Ecology, Fishery and Oceanography of the Mexican Gulf (EPOMEX Center), adscript to the Autonomous University of Campeche (UAC), Campeche, Mexico. We want to thank the corrections and suggestions of the anonymous reviewers of a previous version of this article who considerably improved it.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. M. Agraz Hernández
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. García Zaragoza
    • 1
  • S. Iriarte-Vivar
    • 2
  • F. J. Flores-Verdugo
    • 3
  • P. Moreno Casasola
    • 4
  1. 1.Centro de EPOMEXUniversidad Autonoma de CampecheSan Francisco de CampecheMexico
  2. 2.Departamento de Ecología y Recursos Naturales, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexicoMexico
  3. 3.Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y LimnologiaUniversidad Nacional Autonoma de MexicoMazatlánMexico
  4. 4.A.C. Departamento de Ecologia FuncionalInstituto de EcologiaXalapaMexico

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