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Effects of diking on the biological performance of the black mangrove (Avicennia germinans L.) in an Atlantic mangrove forest

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The effects of diking on the photosynthetic rate, gross glucose production, biomass, and nutrient levels of the black mangrove Avicennia germinans L., were investigated during the major dry, the major wet and the intermediate season in completely diked mangrove areas, and compared to partially diked and non-diked biotopes. In the major dry and major wet seasons, the photosynthetic rate and gross glucose production were two to five times lower in the completely diked sites compared to the partially diked and non-diked habitats. The average dry weights of branches, flowers and leaves did not differ significantly between sites. The same held true for propagules from the major dry and major wet season. However, propagules from the transition period collected in the non-diked and partially diked biotopes yielded appreciable amounts of dry matter, while plants in the completely diked forests did not carry any propagules. No statistically significant differences were found among nutrient content in the leaves of plants from the different habitats. Our results suggest black mangrove growing in diked habitats may suffer a certain degree of environmental stress, which may affect important biological processes, such as photosynthesis, gross glucose production, and propagule formation.

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NUFFIC and SCF provided funding. We thank the foundation Conservation International Suriname for research time; Olivia Reding, Roxano Kempes, Carlos Kempes, Clay Vroom, and Bob Schmitz assisted in the field; Niels Anten, Andries Rosema, Gerard de Vries, Annemiek Kooijman provided some advice; Niels Anten and Marie A. Sobrado are thanked for important literature.


Funding was provided by NUFFIC (CF 1978/20050) and Suriname Conservation Foundation (SCF.2006.014).

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Correspondence to Haydi J. Berrenstein.

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Berrenstein, H.J., Mans, D.R.A., Bhansing, M. et al. Effects of diking on the biological performance of the black mangrove (Avicennia germinans L.) in an Atlantic mangrove forest. Wetlands Ecol Manage 21, 165–172 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-013-9287-5

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  • Biomass
  • Gross glucose production
  • Leaf nutrients
  • North Coronie MUMA
  • Photosynthesis rate
  • Seasonal variations