, Volume 661, Issue 1, pp 179–186 | Cite as

Predation on propagules and seedlings in mature and regenerating mangroves in the coast of Ceará, Brazil

  • Marta M. A. Souza
  • Everardo V. S. B. SampaioEmail author
Primary research paper


Litterfall consumption and predation on propagules is high in Indo-west-Pacific mangroves and low in Atlantic-east-Pacific ones. However, data for the latter area comes only from Caribbean and subtropical North American mangroves. South American data on litterfall consumption contradicts this view but data on predation on propagules are scarce. We measured predation on Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia schaueriana and Laguncularia racemosa propagules and seedlings and related to densities of large (>1.5 m high) and small (1–1.5 m) plants in mature and regenerating mangroves in Ceará state, Brazil. Predation on propagules was the highest among American mangroves (R. mange, >47%; A. schaueriana, >97%; L. racemosa, >83%), especially in the regenerating area. Predation on seedlings was low (maximum of 14% for R. mangle) and did not hamper growth. The dominance of large R. mangle trees in the mature mangrove is consistent with the lower predation on its propagules but the high proportions of small plants of other species indicate that dominance is achieved by mechanisms other than predation. In the regenerating mangrove, dominance of large and small L. racemosa and A. schaueriana plants is not consistent with the high predation on their propagules. Therefore, predation is not the main determinant of the species composition in this mangrove system.


Crabs Rhizophora mangle Avicennia schaueriana Laguncularia racemosa 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marta M. A. Souza
    • 1
  • Everardo V. S. B. Sampaio
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Universidade Regional do Cariri—Rua CelCratoBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal de PernambucoRecifeBrazil

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