Secondary growth by successive cambia is a rare phenomenon in woody plant species. Only few plant species, within different phylogenetic clades, have secondary growth by more than one vascular cambium. Often, these successive cambia are organised concentrically. In the mangrove genus Avicennia however, the successive cambia seem to have a more complex organisation. This study aimed (i) at understanding the development of successive cambia by giving a three-dimensional description of the hydraulic architecture of Avicennia and (ii) at unveiling the possible adaptive nature of growth by successive cambia through a study of the ecological distribution of plant species with concentric internal phloem.
Avicennia had a complex network of non-cylindrical wood patches, the complexity of which increased with more stressful ecological conditions. As internal phloem has been suggested to play a role in water storage and embolism repair, the spatial organisation of Avicennia wood could provide advantages in the ecologically stressful conditions species of this mangrove genus are growing in. Furthermore, we could observe that 84.9% of the woody shrub and tree species with concentric internal phloem occurred in either dry or saline environments strengthening the hypothesis that successive cambia provide the necessary advantages for survival in harsh environmental conditions.
Successive cambia are an ecologically important characteristic, which seems strongly related with water-limited environments.
Mangrove trees tend to be larger and mangrove communities more diverse in tropical latitudes, particularly where there is high rainfall. Variation in the structure, growth and productivity of mangrove forests over climatic gradients suggests they are sensitive to variations in climate, but evidence of changes in the structure and growth of mangrove trees in response to climatic variation is scarce. Bomb-pulse radiocarbon dating provides accurate dates of recent wood formation and tree age of tropical and subtropical tree species. Here, we used radiocarbon techniques combined with X-ray densitometry to develop a wood density chronology for the mangrove Avicennia marina in the Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia (WA). We tested whether wood density chronologies of A. marina were sensitive to variation in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation Index, which reflects temperature fluctuations in the Pacific Ocean and is linked to the instrumental rainfall record in north WA. We also determined growth rates in mangrove trees from the Exmouth Gulf, WA. We found that seaward fringing A. marina trees (∼10 cm diameter) were 48±1 to 89±23 years old (mean ± 1σ) and that their growth rates ranged from 4.08±2.36 to 5.30±3.33 mm/yr (mean ±1σ). The wood density of our studied mangrove trees decreased with increases in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation Index. Future predicted drying of the region will likely lead to further reductions in wood density and their associated growth rates in mangrove forests in the region.
•Background and Aims In Richards Bay, South Africa, Avicennia marina frequently exhibits a distinct productivity gradient, with tree height decreasing markedly from 6–10 m in the fringe zone to <1·5 m in the dwarf zone which is 120 m inland at a slightly higher elevation. In this investigation, soil physico-chemical conditions between fringe and dwarf A. marina were compared and the constraints imposed by any differences on mangrove ecophysiology and productivity determined.
•Methods Soil and plant samples were analysed for inorganic ions using spectrophotometry. Gas exchange measurements were taken with an infrared gas analyser and chlorophyll fluorescence with a fluorometer. Xylem ψ was determined with a pressure chamber and chlorophyll content with a chlorophyll absorbance meter.
•Results In the dwarf site, soil salinity, total cations, electrical conductivity and soil concentrations of Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Zn2+, Mn2+ and Cu2+ were significantly higher than those in the fringe zone. Soil water potential and the concentration of soil P, however, were significantly lower in the dwarf site. In the leaves, Na+ was the predominant ion and its concentration was 24 % higher in dwarf than fringe mangroves. Leaf concentrations of K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Mn2+ and P, however, were significantly lower in dwarf mangroves. Photosynthetic performance, measured by gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence, was significantly reduced in the dwarf plants.
•Conclusions The results suggest that hydro-edaphic factors contribute to high soil salinities, low water potentials, water stress and ion imbalance within tissues including P deficiency, which in interaction, contribute to dwarfing in Avicennia marina.
Avicennia marina; hypersalinity; dwarfing; mangrove; photosynthesis; water stress
Background and Aims
According to the air-seeding hypothesis, embolism vulnerability in xylem elements is linked directly to bordered pit structure and functioning. To elucidate the adaptive potential of intervessel pits towards fluctuating environmental conditions, two mangrove species with a distinct ecological distribution growing along a natural salinity gradient were investigated.
Scanning and transmission electron microscopic observations were conducted to obtain qualitative and quantitative characteristics of alternate intervessel pits in A. marina and scalariform intervessel pits in Rhizophora mucronata. Wood samples from three to six trees were collected at seven and five sites for A. marina and R. mucronata, respectively, with considerable differences between sites in soil water salinity.
Vestured pits without visible pores in the pit membrane were observed in A. marina, the mangrove species with the widest geographical distribution on global as well as local scale. Their thick pit membranes (on average 370 nm) and minute pit apertures may contribute to reduced vulnerability to cavitation of this highly salt-tolerant species. The smaller ecological distribution of R. mucronata was in accordance with wide pit apertures and a slightly higher pitfield fraction (67 % vs. 60 % in A. marina). Nonetheless, its outer pit apertures were observed to be funnel-shaped shielding non-porous pit membranes. No trends in intervessel pit size were observed with increasing soil water salinity of the site.
The contrasting ecological distribution of two mangrove species was reflected in the geometry and pit membrane characteristics of their intervessel pits. Within species, intervessel pit size seemed to be independent of spatial variations in environmental conditions and was only weakly correlated with vessel diameter. Further research on pit formation and function has to clarify the large variations in intervessel pit size within trees and even within single vessels.
Rhizophora mucronata; Avicennia marina; intervessel pits; salinity; Kenya; pit membrane; vestures; ecological wood anatomy; cavitation vulnerability; xylem; field-emission SEM; TEM
The distribution of species of aerobic chemolitho-autotrophic microorganisms such as ammonia-oxidizing bacteria are governed by pH, salinity, and temperature as well as the availability of oxygen, ammonium, carbon dioxide, and other inorganic elements required for growth. Impounded mangrove forests in the Indian River Lagoon, a coastal estuary on the east coast of Florida, are dominated by mangroves, especially stands of Black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) that differ in the size and density of individual plants. In March 2009, the management of one impoundment was changed to a regime of pumping estuarine water into the impoundment at critical times of the year to eliminate breeding sites for noxious insects. We collected soil samples in three different Black mangrove habitats before and after the change in management to determine the impacts of the altered hydrologic regimes on the distribution of 16s rRNA genes belonging to ammonia-oxidizing betaproteobacteria (β-AOB). We also sampled soils in an adjacent impoundment in which there had not been any hydrologic alteration. At the level of 97% mutual similarity in the 16s rRNA gene, 13 different operational taxonomic units were identified; the majority related to the lineages of Nitrosomonas marina (45% of the total clones), Nitrosomonas sp. Nm143 (23%), and Nitrosospira cluster 1 (19%). Long-term summer flooding of the impoundment in 2009, after initiation of the pumping regime, reduced the percentage of N. marina by half between 2008 and 2010 in favor of the two other major lineages and the potential ammonia-oxidizing activity decreased by an average of 73%. Higher interstitial salinities, probably due to a prolonged winter drought, had a significant effect on the composition of the β-AOB in March 2009 compared to March 2008: Nitrosomonas sp. Nm143 was replaced by Nitrosospira cluster 1 as the second most important lineage. There were small, but significant differences in the bacterial communities between the flooded and non-flooded impoundments. There were also differences in the community composition of the bacteria in the three Black mangrove habitats. N. marina was most dominant in all three habitats, but was partly replaced by Nitrosospira cluster 1 in sites dominated by sparsely distributed trees and by Nitrosomonas sp. Nm143 in sites characterized by taller, more densely distributed Black mangrove trees.
ammonia oxidation; betaproteobacteria; mangroves; flooding
Avicennia marina (Avicenniaceae) is a species of mangrove tree used for treatment of small pox lesions in Persian folk medicine. The antiviral activity of methanol, ethanol, water, chloroform and n-hexane extracts was evaluated against HIV-1 and HSV. Methanol extract had the highest antiviral activity and the most polar fraction of this extract (fraction D) inhibited HSV with TI and SI values of 57.1 and 133; however, it showed mild activity against HIV with SI value of 6.25 (fraction 3). The anti-HSV activity of active fraction was confirmed using FLASH-PCR. Phytochemical investigation revealed that fraction D encompasses flavonoids compounds. The time-of-addition study demonstrated that fraction D disturbs viral replication after penetrating to the cell. A. marina was endowed with fragments by which found to be able to inhibit replication of HSV after entry but did not show significant potency against HIV-1. This promotes further investigation in anti-HSV drug discovery.
Avicennia marina; Herpes simplex virus; Human immunodeficiency virus; Antiviral activity; Medicinal plant
• Background and Aims Although mangroves have been extensively studied, little is known about their ecological wood anatomy. This investigation examined the potential use of vessel density as a proxy for soil water salinity in the mangrove species Rhizophora mucronata (Rhizophoraceae) from Kenya.
• Methods In a time-standardized approach, 50 wood discs from trees growing in six salinity categories were investigated. Vessel densities, and tangential and radial diameters of rainy and dry season wood of one distinct year, at three positions on the stem discs, were measured. A repeated-measures ANOVA with the prevailing salinity was performed.
• Key Results Vessel density showed a significant increase with salinity, supporting its use as a prospective measure of salinity. Interestingly, the negative salinity response of the radial diameter of vessels was less striking, and tangential diameter was constant under the varying environmental conditions. An effect of age or growth rate or the presence of vessel dimorphism could be excluded as the cause of the absence of any ecological trend.
• Conclusions The clear trend in vessel density with salinity, together with the absence of a growth rate and age effect, validates the potential of vessel density as an environmental proxy. However, it can only be used as a relative measure of salinity given that other environmental variables such as inundation frequency have an additional influence on vessel density. With view to a reliable, absolute proxy, future research should focus on finding wood anatomical features correlated exclusively with soil water salinity or inundation frequency. The plasticity in vessel density with differing salinity suggests a role in the establishment of a safe water transport system. To confirm this hypothesis, the role of inter-vessel pits, their relationship to the rather constant vessel diameter and the underlying physiology and cell biology needs to be examined.
Rhizophora mucronata; mangrove; ecological wood anatomy; vessel density; vessel diameter; proxy; salinity; inundation frequency; Kenya; hydraulic architecture
Background and Aims
Teak forms xylem rings that potentially carry records of carbon sequestration and climate in the tropics. These records are only useful when the structural variations of tree rings and their periodicity of formation are known.
The seasonality of ring formation in mature teak trees was examined via correlative analysis of cambial activity, xylem and phloem formation, and climate throughout 1·5 years. Xylem and phloem differentiation were visualized by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.
A 3 month dry season resulted in semi-deciduousness, cambial dormancy and formation of annual xylem growth rings (AXGRs). Intra-annual xylem and phloem growth was characterized by variable intensity. Morphometric features of cambium such as cambium thickness and differentiating xylem layers were positively correlated. Cambium thickness was strongly correlated with monthly rainfall (R2 = 0·7535). In all sampled trees, xylem growth zones (XGZs) were formed within the AXGRs during the seasonal development of new foliage. When trees achieved full leaf, the xylem in the new XGZs appeared completely differentiated and functional for water transport. Two phloem growth rings were formed in one growing season.
The seasonal formation pattern and microstructure of teak xylem suggest that AXGRs and XGZs can be used as proxies for analyses of the tree history and climate at annual and intra-annual resolution.
Growth rings; teak; Tectona grandis; vascular cambium; xylem and phloem formation
Although RNA silencing has been studied primarily in model plants, advances in high-throughput sequencing technologies have enabled profiling of the small RNA components of many more plant species, providing insights into the ubiquity and conservatism of some miRNA-based regulatory mechanisms. Small RNAs of 20 to 24 nucleotides (nt) are important regulators of gene transcript levels by either transcriptional or by posttranscriptional gene silencing, contributing to genome maintenance and controlling a variety of developmental and physiological processes. Here, we used deep sequencing and molecular methods to create an inventory of the small RNAs in the mangrove species, Avicennia marina. We identified 26 novel mangrove miRNAs and 193 conserved miRNAs belonging to 36 families. We determined that 2 of the novel miRNAs were produced from known miRNA precursors and 4 were likely to be species-specific by the criterion that we found no homologs in other plant species. We used qRT-PCR to analyze the expression of miRNAs and their target genes in different tissue sets and some demonstrated tissue-specific expression. Furthermore, we predicted potential targets of these putative miRNAs based on a sequence homology and experimentally validated through endonucleolytic cleavage assays. Our results suggested that expression profiles of miRNAs and their predicted targets could be useful in exploring the significance of the conservation patterns of plants, particularly in response to abiotic stress. Because of their well-developed abilities in this regard, mangroves and other extremophiles are excellent models for such exploration.
Background and Aims
During their lifetime, tree stems take a series of successive nested shapes. Individual tree growth models traditionally focus on apical growth and architecture. However, cambial growth, which is distributed over a surface layer wrapping the whole organism, equally contributes to plant form and function. This study aims at providing a framework to simulate how organism shape evolves as a result of a secondary growth process that occurs at the cellular scale.
The development of the vascular cambium is modelled as an expanding surface using the level set method. The surface consists of multiple compartments following distinct expansion rules. Growth behaviour can be formulated as a mathematical function of surface state variables and independent variables to describe biological processes.
The model was coupled to an architectural model and to a forest stand model to simulate cambium dynamics and wood formation at the scale of the organism. The model is able to simulate competition between cambia, surface irregularities and local features. Predicting the shapes associated with arbitrarily complex growth functions does not add complexity to the numerical method itself.
Despite their slenderness, it is sometimes useful to conceive of trees as expanding surfaces. The proposed mathematical framework provides a way to integrate through time and space the biological and physical mechanisms underlying cambium activity. It can be used either to test growth hypotheses or to generate detailed maps of wood internal structure.
Dynamic model; level sets; surface growth; vascular cambium; wood formation
Mangrove forests encompass a group of trees species that inhabit the intertidal zones, where soil is characterized by the high salinity and low availability of oxygen. The phyllosphere of these trees represent the habitat provided on the aboveground parts of plants, supporting in a global scale, a large and complex microbial community. The structure of phyllosphere communities reflects immigration, survival and growth of microbial colonizers, which is influenced by numerous environmental factors in addition to leaf physical and chemical properties. Here, a combination of culture-base methods with PCR-DGGE was applied to test whether local or plant specific factors shape the bacterial community of the phyllosphere from three plant species (Avicenia shaueriana, Laguncularia racemosa and Rhizophora mangle), found in two mangroves. The number of bacteria in the phyllosphere of these plants varied between 3.62 x 104 in A. schaeriana and 6.26 x 103 in R. mangle. The results obtained by PCR-DGGE and isolation approaches were congruent and demonstrated that each plant species harbor specific bacterial communities in their leaves surfaces. Moreover, the ordination of environmental factors (mangrove and plant species), by redundancy analysis (RDA), also indicated that the selection exerted by plant species is higher than mangrove location on bacterial communities at phyllosphere.
culture-independent profiling; plant genotype; surface leaves
The antibacterial activity of the leaves and bark of mangrove plants, Avicennia marina, A. officinalis, Bruguiera sexangula, Exoecaria agallocha, Lumnitzera racemosa, and Rhizophora apiculata was evaluated against antibiotic resistant pathogenic bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus and Proteus sp. Soxhlet extracts of petroleum ether, ethyl acetate, ethanol and water were prepared and evaluated the antibacterial activity using agar diffusion method. Most of the plant extracts showed promising antibacterial activity against both bacterial species. However, higher antibacterial activity was observed for Staphylococcus aureus than Proteus sp. The highest antibacterial activity was shown by ethyl acetate of mature leaf extracts of E. agallocha for Staphylococcus aureus. All ethyl acetate extracts showed higher inhibition against S. aureus while some extracts of chloroform, ethyl acetate and ethanol gave inhibition against Proteus sp. None of the petroleum ether and aqueous extracts showed inhibition against Proteus sp. All fresh plant materials did also show more antibacterial activity against both bacterial strains than did dried plant extracts. Antibacterial activity of fresh and dried plant materials reduced for both bacterial strains with time after extraction. Since L. racemosa and A. marina gave the best inhibition for bacterial species, they were used for further investigations. Charcoal treated plant extracts of L. racemosa and A. marina were able to inhibit both bacterial strains more than those of untreated plant extracts. Phytochemical screening of mature leaf, bark of L. racemosa and leaf extracts of A. marina has been carried out and revealed that leaf and bark contained alkaloids, steroids, triterpenoids and flavonoids. None of the above extracts indicate the presence of saponins and cardiac glycosides. Separated bands of extracts by TLC analysis showed antibacterial activity against S. aureus.
Antibacterial activity; inhibition; mangroves; soxhlet extraction
Anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (anammox) bacterial community structures were investigated in surface (1–2 cm) and lower (20–21 cm) layers of mangrove sediments at sites located immediately to the mangrove trees (S0), 10 m (S1) and 1000 m (S2) away from mangrove trees in a polluted area of the Pearl River Delta. At S0, both 16S rRNA and hydrazine oxidoreductase (HZO) encoding genes of anammox bacteria showed high diversity in lower layer sediments, but they were not detectable in lower layer sediments in mangrove forest. S1 and S2 shared similar anammox bacteria communities in both surface and lower layers, which were quite different from that of S0. At all three locations, higher richness of anammox bacteria was detected in the surface layer than the lower layer; 16S rRNA genes revealed anammox bacteria were composed by four phylogenetic clusters affiliated with the “Scalindua” genus, and one group related to the potential anammox bacteria; while the hzo genes showed that in addition to sequences related to the “Scalindua”, sequences affiliated with genera of “Kuenenia”, “Brocadia”, and “Jettenia” were also detected in mangrove sediments. Furthermore, hzo gene abundances decreased from 36.5 × 104 to 11.0 × 104 copies/gram dry sediment in lower layer sediments while increased from below detection limit to 31.5 × 104 copies/gram dry sediment in lower layer sediments from S0 to S2. The results indicated that anammox bacteria communities might be strongly influenced by mangrove trees. In addition, the correlation analysis showed the redox potential and the molar ratio of ammonium to nitrite in sediments might be important factors affecting the diversity and distribution of anammox bacteria in mangrove sediments.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10646-011-0711-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Anammox bacteria; 16S rRNA genes; hzo genes; Diversity; Distribution; Abundances; Mangrove
Ceriops tagal commonly occurs along the Gujarat coast of India. It has evolved a high degree of salinity tolerance and optimal growth occurs at 12.6 ppt. This is related to an adaptive regulation of hydration and ionic content.
Background and aims
Mangroves of Western Gujarat (India) are subject to die-back. Salinity intolerance is one possible cause, especially in young plants. We therefore quantified the extent to which young plants of one widely occurring mangrove species (Ceriops tagal) tolerate high salt in terms of establishment, growth, water status, proline content and mineral accumulation.
In a greenhouse study, juvenile plants were established from mature propagules over 40 days in soil containing added NaCl, raising soil water salinity to 0.2, 2.5, 5.1, 7.7, 10.3, 12.6, 15.4, 17.9, 20.5 and 23.0 ppt (w/v). Growth and physiological characteristics were monitored over the subsequent 6 months.
Despite a negative relationship between the percentage of young plant establishment and salt concentration (50 % loss at 22.3 ppt), the remaining plants proved highly tolerant. Growth, in dry weight, was significantly promoted by low salinity, which is optimal at 12.6 ppt. Water content, leaf expansion and dry matter accumulation in tissues followed a similar optimum curve with leaf area being doubled at 12.6 ppt NaCl. Salinity >12.6 and <23 ppt inhibited plant growth, but never to below control levels. Root:shoot dry weight ratios were slightly reduced by salinity (maximum 19 %), but the water potential of roots, leaves and stems became more negative as salinity increases while proline increases in all tissues. The concentration of Na increased, whereas concentrations of K, Ca, N and P decreased and that of Mg remained stable.
Ceriops tagal has a remarkably high degree of salinity tolerance, and shows an optimal growth when soil water salinity is 12.6 ppt. Salinity tolerance is linked to an adaptive regulation of hydration and ionic content. The cause of localized die-back along the coastal region of Gujarat is thus unlikely to be a primary outcome of salinity stress although amendments with Ca and K, and perhaps proline, may help protect against extreme salinity.
Habitat destruction and predation by invasive alien species has led to the disappearance of several island populations of Darwin's finches but to date none of the 13 recognized species have gone extinct. However, driven by rapid economic growth in the Galápagos, the effects of introduced species have accelerated and severely threatened these iconic birds. The critically endangered mangrove finch (Camarhynchus heliobates) is now confined to three small mangroves on Isabela Island. During 2006–2009, we assessed its population status and monitored nesting success, both before and after rat poisoning. Population size was estimated at around only 100 birds for the two main breeding sites, with possibly 5–10 birds surviving at a third mangrove. Before rat control, 54 per cent of nests during incubation phase were predated with only 18 per cent of nests producing fledglings. Post-rat control, nest predation during the incubation phase fell to 30 per cent with 37 per cent of nests producing fledglings. During the nestling phase, infestation by larvae of the introduced parasitic fly (Philornis downsi) caused 14 per cent additional mortality. Using population viability analysis, we simulated the probability of population persistence under various scenarios of control and showed that with effective management of these invasive species, mangrove finch populations should start to recover.
Camarhynchus heliobates; Galápagos; Philornis; population monitoring; population viability analysis; rat control
We investigate cambial growth periodicity in Brachystegia spiciformis, a dominant tree species in the seasonally dry miombo woodland of southern Africa. To better understand how the brevi-deciduous (experiencing a short, drought-induced leaf fall period) leaf phenology of this species can be linked to a distinct period of cambial activity, we applied a bi-weekly pinning to six trees in western Zambia over the course of one year. Our results show that the onset and end of cambial growth was synchronous between trees, but was not concurrent with the onset and end of the rainy season. The relatively short (three to four months maximum) cambial growth season corresponded to the core of the rainy season, when 75% of the annual precipitation fell, and to the period when the trees were at full photosynthetic capacity. Tree-ring studies of this species have found a significant relationship between annual tree growth and precipitation, but we did not observe such a correlation at intra-annual resolution in this study. Furthermore, a substantial rainfall event occurring after the end of the cambial growth season did not induce xylem initiation or false ring formation. Low sample replication should be taken into account when interpreting the results of this study, but our findings can be used to refine the carbon allocation component of process-based terrestrial ecosystem models and can thus contribute to a more detailed estimation of the role of the miombo woodland in the terrestrial carbon cycle. Furthermore, we provide a physiological foundation for the use of Brachystegia spiciformis tree-ring records in paleoclimate research.
1. Vegetated biogeomorphic systems (e.g. mangroves, salt marshes, dunes, riparian vegetation) have been intensively studied for the impact of the biota on sediment transport processes and the resulting self-organization of such landscapes. However, there is a lack of understanding of physical disturbance mechanisms that limit primary colonization in active sedimentary environments.
2. This study elucidates the effect of sediment disturbance during the seedling stage of pioneer vegetation, using mangroves as a model system. We performed mesocosm experiments that mimicked sediment disturbance as (i) accretion/burial of plants and (ii) erosion/excavation of plants of different magnitudes and temporal distribution in combination with water movement and inundation stress.
3. Cumulative sediment disturbance reduced seedling survival, with the faster-growing Avicennia alba showing less mortality than the slower-growing Sonneratia alba. The presence of the additional stressors (inundation and water movement) predominantly reduced the survival of S. alba.
4. Non-lethal accretion treatments increased shoot biomass of the seedlings, whereas non-lethal erosion treatments increased root biomass allocation. This morphological plasticity in combination with the abiotic disturbance history determined how much maximum erosion the seedlings were able to withstand.
Synthesis and applications. Seedling survival in dynamic sedimentary environments is determined by the frequency and magnitude of sediment accretion or erosion events, with non-lethal events causing feedbacks to seedling stability. Managers attempting restoration of mangroves, salt marshes, dunes and riparian vegetation should recognize sediment dynamics as a main bottleneck to primary colonization. The temporal distribution of erosion and accretion events has to be evaluated against the ability of the seedlings to outgrow or adjust to disturbances. Our results suggest that selecting fast-growing pioneer species and measures to enhance seedling growth or temporary reduction in sediment dynamics at the restoration site can aid restoration success for vegetated biogeomorphic ecosystems.
Avicennia alba; biogeomorphology; dunes; ecosystem engineer; mangrove; mudflat; restoration; riparian; salt marsh; Sonneratia alba
Mangroves are intertidal ecosystems that are particularly vulnerable to climate change. At the low tidal limits of their range, they face swamping by rising sea levels; at the high tidal limits, they face increasing stress from desiccation and high salinity. Facilitation theory may help guide mangrove management and restoration in the face of these threats by suggesting how and when positive intra- and interspecific effects may occur: such effects are predicted in stressed environments such as the intertidal, but have yet to be shown among mangroves. Here, we report the results of a series of experiments at low and high tidal sites examining the effects of mangrove density and species mix on seedling survival and recruitment, and on the ability of mangroves to trap sediment and cause surface elevation change. Increasing density significantly increased the survival of seedlings of two different species at both high and low tidal sites, and enhanced sediment accretion and elevation at the low tidal site. Including Avicennia marina in species mixes enhanced total biomass at a degraded high tidal site. Increasing biomass led to changed microenvironments that allowed the recruitment and survival of different mangrove species, particularly Ceriops tagal.
mangrove; facilitation; intertidal; salinity; density; sediment
Although mangroves dominated by Avicennia germinans and Rhizophora mangle are extending over 6000 ha in the Tanbi Wetland National Park (TWNP) (The Gambia), their importance for local populations (both peri-urban and urban) is not well documented. For the first time, this study evaluates the different mangrove resources in and around Banjul (i.e., timber, non-timber, edible, and ethnomedicinal products) and their utilization patterns, including the possibility of ecotourism development. The questionnaire-based results have indicated that more than 80% of peri-urban population rely on mangroves for timber and non-timber products and consider them as very important for their livelihoods. However, at the same time, urban households demonstrate limited knowledge on mangrove species and their ecological/economic benefits. Among others, fishing (including the oyster—Crassostrea cf. gasar collection) and tourism are the major income-generating activities found in the TWNP. The age-old practices of agriculture in some parts of the TWNP are due to scarcity of land available for agriculture, increased family size, and alternative sources of income. The recent focus on ecotourism (i.e., boardwalk construction inside the mangroves near Banjul city) received a positive response from the local stakeholders (i.e., users, government, and non-government organizations), with their appropriate roles in sharing the revenue, rights, and responsibilities of this project. Though the guidelines for conservation and management of the TWNP seem to be compatible, the harmony between local people and sustainable resource utilization should be ascertained.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0248-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Mangroves; Socio-ecology; Tanbi Wetland National Park; Resource utilization; Participatory methods; The Gambia
Background and Aims
Studies on xylogenesis focus essentially on the stem, whereas there is basically no information about the intra-annual growth of other parts of the tree. As roots strongly influence carbon allocation and tree development, knowledge of the dynamics of xylem production and maturation in roots at a short time scale is required for a better understanding of the phenomenon of tree growth. This study compared cambial activity and xylem formation in stem and roots in two conifers of the boreal forest in Canada.
Wood microcores were collected weekly in stem and roots of ten Abies balsamea and ten Picea mariana during the 2004–2006 growing seasons. Cross-sections were cut using a rotary microtome, stained with cresyl violet acetate and observed under visible and polarized light. The number of cells in the cambial zone and in differentiation, plus the number of mature cells, was counted along the developing xylem.
Xylem formation lasted from the end of May to the end of September, with no difference between stem and roots in 2004–2005. On the contrary, in 2006 a 1-week earlier beginning of cell differentiation was observed in the stem, with cell wall thickening and lignification in roots ending up to 22 d later than in the stem. Cell production in the stem was concentrated early in the season, in June, while most cell divisions in roots occurred 1 month later.
The intra-annual dynamics of growth observed in stem and roots could be related to the different amount of cells produced by the cambium and the patterns of air and soil temperature occurring in spring.
Abies balsamea; boreal forest; cambium; cell differentiation; cell wall thickening; lignification; Picea mariana; root; stem; xylem
Endophytic Sporosarcina aquimarina SjAM16103 was isolated from the inner tissues of pneumatophores of mangrove plant Avicennia marina along with Bacillus sp. and Enterobacter sp. Endophytic S. aquimarina SjAM16103 was Gram variable, and motile bacterium measured 0.6–0.9 μm wide by 1.7–2.0 μm long and light orange-brown coloured in 3-day cultures on tryptone broth at 26°C. Nucleotide sequence of this strain has been deposited in the GenBank under accession number GU930359. This endophytic bacterium produced 2.37 μMol/mL of indole acetic acid and siderophore as it metabolites. This strain could solubilize phosphate molecules and fixes atmospheric nitrogen. Endophytic S. aquimarina SjAM16103 was inoculated into four different plants under in vitro method to analyse its growth-promoting activity and role inside the host plants. The growth of endophytic S. aquimarina SjAM16103 inoculated explants were highly significant than the uninoculated control explants. Root hairs and early root development were observed in the endophytic S. aquimarina SjAM16103 inoculated explants.
The mangrove ecosystem is a largely unexplored source for actinomycetes with the potential to produce biologically active secondary metabolites. Consequently, we set out to isolate, characterize and screen actinomycetes from soil and plant material collected from eight mangrove sites in China. Over 2,000 actinomycetes were isolated and of these approximately 20%, 5%, and 10% inhibited the growth of Human Colon Tumor 116 cells, Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus, respectively, while 3% inhibited protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), a protein related to diabetes. In addition, nine isolates inhibited aurora kinase A, an anti-cancer related protein, and three inhibited caspase 3, a protein related to neurodegenerative diseases. Representative bioactive isolates were characterized using genotypic and phenotypic procedures and classified to thirteen genera, notably to the genera Micromonospora and Streptomyces. Actinomycetes showing cytotoxic activity were assigned to seven genera whereas only Micromonospora and Streptomyces strains showed anti-PTP1B activity. We conclude that actinomycetes isolated from mangrove habitats are a potentially rich source for the discovery of anti-infection and anti-tumor compounds, and of agents for treating neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes.
Mangroves; actinomycete diversity; marine drug discovery; high-throughput screening; growth inhibition; protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B; aurora kinase A; caspase 3
Nutrient enrichment of the coastal zone places intense pressure on marine communities. Previous studies have shown that growth of intertidal mangrove forests is accelerated with enhanced nutrient availability. However, nutrient enrichment favours growth of shoots relative to roots, thus enhancing growth rates but increasing vulnerability to environmental stresses that adversely affect plant water relations. Two such stresses are high salinity and low humidity, both of which require greater investment in roots to meet the demands for water by the shoots. Here we present data from a global network of sites that documents enhanced mortality of mangroves with experimental nutrient enrichment at sites where high sediment salinity was coincident with low rainfall and low humidity. Thus the benefits of increased mangrove growth in response to coastal eutrophication is offset by the costs of decreased resilience due to mortality during drought, with mortality increasing with soil water salinity along climatic gradients.
We investigated the diversity, spatial distribution, and abundances of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in sediment samples of different depths collected from a transect with different distances to mangrove forest in the territories of Hong Kong. Both the archaeal and bacterial amoA genes (encoding ammonia monooxygenase subunit A) from all samples supported distinct phylogenetic groups, indicating the presences of niche-specific AOA and AOB in mangrove sediments. The higher AOB abundances than AOA in mangrove sediments, especially in the vicinity of the mangrove trees, might indicate the more important role of AOB on nitrification. The spatial distribution showed that AOA had higher diversity and abundance in the surface layer sediments near the mangrove trees (0 and 10 m) but lower away from the mangrove trees (1,000 m), and communities of AOA could be clustered into surface and bottom sediment layer groups. In contrast, AOB showed a reverse distributed pattern, and its communities were grouped by the distances between sites and mangrove trees, indicating mangrove trees might have different influences on AOA and AOB community structures. Furthermore, the strong correlations among archaeal and bacterial amoA gene abundances and their ratio with NH4+, salinity, and pH of sediments indicated that these environmental factors have strong influences on AOA and AOB distributions in mangrove sediments. In addition, AOA diversity and abundances were significantly correlated with hzo gene abundances, which encodes the key enzyme for transformation of hydrazine into N2 in anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacteria, indicating AOA and anammox bacteria may interact with each other or they are influenced by the same controlling factors, such as NH4+. The results provide a better understanding on using mangrove wetlands as biological treatment systems for removal of nutrients.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00253-010-2929-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA); Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB); Community structures; Mangrove sediments; Anammox; hzo gene; Abundance; Diversity
Seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTF) are characterized by pronounced seasonality in rainfall, and as a result trees in these forests must endure seasonal variation in soil water availability. Furthermore, SDTF on the northern Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, have a legacy of disturbances, thereby creating a patchy mosaic of different seral stages undergoing secondary succession. We examined the water status of six canopy tree species, representing contrasting leaf phenology (evergreen vs. drought-deciduous) at three seral stages along a fire chronosequence in order to better understand strategies that trees use to overcome seasonal water limitations. The early-seral forest was characterized by high soil water evaporation and low soil moisture, and consequently early-seral trees exhibited lower midday bulk leaf water potentials (ΨL) relative to late-seral trees (−1.01 ± 0.14 and −0.54 ± 0.07 MPa, respectively). Although ΨL did not differ between evergreen and drought-deciduous trees, results from stable isotope analyses indicated different strategies to overcome seasonal water limitations. Differences were especially pronounced in the early-seral stage where evergreen trees had significantly lower xylem water δ18O values relative to drought-deciduous trees (−2.6 ± 0.5 and 0.3 ± 0.6‰, respectively), indicating evergreen species used deeper sources of water. In contrast, drought-deciduous trees showed greater enrichment of foliar 18O (∆18Ol) and 13C, suggesting lower stomatal conductance and greater water-use efficiency. Thus, the rapid development of deep roots appears to be an important strategy enabling evergreen species to overcome seasonal water limitation, whereas, in addition to losing a portion of their leaves, drought-deciduous trees minimize water loss from remaining leaves during the dry season.
Groundwater; Resource partitioning; Stable isotopes; Water-use efficiency; Yucatan Peninsula