Mangrove swamps occupy approximately two-thirds of the shoreline on Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and also border the island's most populated areas. Kosraeans depend on mangrove swamps for a supply of wood to support a growing handicraft industry, for a dependable source of fuelwood, and for habitat to support the harvest of fish and mangrove crabs. One of the more prominent mangrove species on Kosrae is Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, yet it is not the most preferred species for carving or cooking. To evaluate B. gymnorrhiza's persistence in the intertidal and to develop a better understanding of factors influencing its regeneration, we investigated predispersal insect colonization of propagules, postdispersal propagule predation by crabs, and the relative effects of natural and artificial shade, salinity, and tidal flooding on early tree seedling survival and growth. Predispersal insect colonization of propagules by boring insects was very high (93%), but the damage did not seem to influence seedling survival. Postdispersal predation of B. gymnorrhiza propagules by crabs was low (17%) and did not change in gap versus understory plots. Predation did vary by intertidal location (lower intertidal > middle intertidal = upper intertidal), with lower predation occurring in an intertidal location with a B. gymnorrhiza-dominated overstory. Shade and tidal inundation reduced seedling growth more than salinity in greenhouse investigations, but sunlight had less positive influence on seedling growth in the field. In general, regeneration and growth occurred successfully under a variety of conditions, indicating that none of the factors investigated serve as strong regulators to B. gymnorrhiza regeneration and early growth on Kosrae. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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Factors influencing the regeneration of the mangrove Bruguiera gymnorrhiza (L.) Lamk. on a tropical Pacific island