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Water use characteristics of black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) communities along an ecotone with marsh at a northern geographical limit

Ecohydrology

By:
, , and
DOI: 10.1002/eco.1353

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Abstract

Mangroves are expanding into warm temperate-zone salt marsh communities in several locations globally. Although scientists have discovered that expansion might have modest effects on ecosystem functioning, water use characteristics have not been assessed relative to this transition. We measured early growing season sapflow (Js) and leaf transpiration (Tr) in Avicennia germinans at a latitudinal limit along the northern Gulf of Mexico (Louisiana, United States) under both flooded and drained states and used these data to scale vegetation water use responses in comparison with Spartina alterniflora. We discovered strong convergence when using either Js or Tr for determining individual tree water use, indicating tight connection between transpiration and xylem water movement in small Avicennia trees. When Tr data were combined with leaf area indices for the region with the use of three separate approaches, we determined that Avicennia stands use approximately 1·0–1·3 mm d–1 less water than Spartina marsh. Differences were only significant with the use of two of the three approaches, but are suggestive of net conservation of water as Avicennia expands into Spartina marshes at this location. Average Js for Avicennia trees was not influenced by flooding, but maximum Js was greater when sites were flooded. Avicennia and Spartina closest to open water (shoreline) used more water than interior locations of the same assemblages by an average of 1·3 mm d−1. Lower water use by Avicennia may indicate a greater overall resilience to drought relative to Spartina, such that aperiodic drought may interact with warmer winter temperatures to facilitate expansion of Avicennia in some years.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Water use characteristics of black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) communities along an ecotone with marsh at a northern geographical limit
Series title:
Ecohydrology
DOI:
10.1002/eco.1353
Edition:
12 p.
Volume
7
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2014
Language:
English
Publisher:
Wiley Online Library
Contributing office(s):
National Wetlands Research Center
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Ecohydrology
First page:
354
Last page:
365
Country:
United States
State:
Louisiana
Other Geospatial:
Gulf Of Mexico