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Plasticity in the Above- and Below-Ground Development of Mangrove Seedlings in Response to Variation in Soil Bulk Density
Estuaries and Coasts ( IF 2.319 ) Pub Date : 2019-11-25 , DOI: 10.1007/s12237-019-00660-9
Anne Ola; Timothy L. Staples; Nicole Robinson; Catherine E. Lovelock

Mangroves store large amounts of organic carbon (C) in their soils and are important in the global C cycle. These C stocks have been attributed to the below-ground productivity of mangroves, yet there is limited knowledge about the environmental factors that influence mangrove root growth. Thus, this study aimed to assess the role of variation in soil bulk density (BD) on the early development of mangroves. Seedlings of four mangrove species were grown in a pot-experiment in soils with a BD ranging from 0.2 to 1.2 g cm−3. Nine functional above- and below-ground plant traits were measured. Above- and below-ground traits of mangrove seedlings were influenced by variation in soil BD, but the effect was species specific. The reaction norms for most plant traits of Bruguiera gymnorrhiza and Rhizophora stylosa suggested a growth optimum at a specific soil BD (0.6 and 0.4 g cm−3, respectively), whilst the reaction norm of Avicennia marina was highly variable among traits, and Ceriops australis showed a very limited response. Moreover, A. marina was the most plastic species above-ground, while R. stylosa was the most plastic species below-ground. Ceriops australis was the least plastic species. Hence, soil BD is an environmental factor that influences mangrove root traits and seedling establishment, and may therefore affect mangrove species distributions and ecosystem C stocks.
更新日期:2019-11-25

 

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