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.
•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
• 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Our objective was to ascertain the population status of the Pygmy Three-toed Sloth, Bradypus pygmaeus, an IUCN Critically Endangered species, on Isla Escudo de Veraguas, Panama. Bradypus pygmaeus are thought to be folivorous mangrove specialists; therefore we conducted a visual systematic survey of all 10 mangrove thickets on the island. The total mangrove habitat area was measured to be 1.67 ha, comprising 0.024% of the total island area. The population survey found low numbers of B. pygmaeus in the mangrove thickets and far lower numbers outside of them. The connectivity of subpopulations between these thickets on the island is not established, as B. pygmaeus movement data is still lacking. We found 79 individuals of B. pygmaeus; 70 were found in mangroves and 9 were observed just beyond the periphery of the mangroves in non-mangrove tree species. Low population number, habitat fragmentation and habitat loss could lead to inbreeding, a loss of genetic diversity, and extinction of B. pygmaeus.
Mangroves are complex ecosystems that regulate nutrient and sediment fluxes to the open sea. The importance of bacteria and fungi in regulating nutrient cycles has led to an interest in their diversity and composition in mangroves. However, very few studies have assessed Archaea in mangroves, and virtually nothing is known about whether mangrove rhizospheres affect archaeal diversity and composition. Here, we studied the diversity and composition of Archaea in mangrove bulk sediment and the rhizospheres of two mangrove trees, Rhizophora mangle and Laguncularia racemosa, using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and pyrosequencing of archaeal 16S rRNA genes with a nested-amplification approach. DGGE profiles revealed significant structural differences between bulk sediment and rhizosphere samples, suggesting that roots of both mangrove species influence the sediment archaeal community. Nearly all of the detected sequences obtained with pyrosequencing were identified as Archaea, but most were unclassified at the level of phylum or below. Archaeal richness was, furthermore, the highest in the L. racemosa rhizosphere, intermediate in bulk sediment, and the lowest in the R. mangle rhizosphere. This study shows that rhizosphere microhabitats of R. mangle and L. racemosa, common plants in subtropical mangroves located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hosted distinct archaeal assemblages.
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
Mangroves are ecologically important and highly threatened forest communities. Observational and genetic evidence has confirmed the long distance dispersal capacity of water-dispersed mangrove seeds, but less is known about the relative importance of pollen vs. seed gene flow in connecting populations. We analyzed 980 Avicennia germinans for 11 microsatellite loci and 940 Rhizophora mangle for six microsatellite loci and subsampled two non-coding cpDNA regions in order to understand population structure, and gene flow within and among four major estuaries on the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Panama.
Both species showed similar rates of outcrossing (t= 0.7 in A. germinans and 0.8 in R. mangle) and strong patterns of spatial genetic structure within estuaries, although A. germinans had greater genetic structure in nuclear and cpDNA markers (7 demes > 4 demes and Sp= 0.02 > 0.002), and much greater cpDNA diversity (Hd= 0.8 > 0.2) than R. mangle. The Central American Isthmus serves as an exceptionally strong barrier to gene flow, with high levels nuclear (FST= 0.3-0.5) and plastid (FST= 0.5-0.8) genetic differentiation observed within each species between coasts and no shared cpDNA haplotypes between species on each coast. Finally, evidence of low ratios of pollen to seed dispersal (r = −0.6 in A. germinans and 7.7 in R. mangle), coupled with the strong observed structure in nuclear and plastid DNA among most estuaries, suggests low levels of gene flow in these mangrove species.
We conclude that gene dispersal in mangroves is usually limited within estuaries and that coastal geomorphology and rare long distance dispersal events could also influence levels of structure.
Rhizophora mangle; Avicennia germinans; Pollen dispersal; Seed dispersal; Spatial genetic structure
An analysis of the molecular diversity of N2 fixers and denitrifiers associated with mangrove roots was performed using terminal restriction length polymorphism (T-RFLP) of nifH (N2 fixation) and nirS and nirK (denitrification), and the compositions and structures of these communities among three sites were compared. The number of operational taxonomic units (OTU) for nifH was higher than that for nirK or nirS at all three sites. Site 3, which had the highest organic matter and sand content in the rhizosphere sediment, as well as the lowest pore water oxygen concentration, had the highest nifH diversity. Principal component analysis of biogeochemical parameters identified soil texture, organic matter content, pore water oxygen concentration, and salinity as the main variables that differentiated the sites. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (MDS) analyses of the T-RFLP data using the Bray-Curtis coefficient, group analyses, and pairwise comparisons between the sites clearly separated the OTU of site 3 from those of sites 1 and 2. For nirS, there were statistically significant differences in the composition of OTU among the sites, but the variability was less than for nifH. OTU defined on the basis of nirK were highly similar, and the three sites were not clearly separated on the basis of these sequences. The phylogenetic trees of nifH, nirK, and nirS showed that most of the cloned sequences were more similar to sequences from the rhizosphere isolates than to those from known strains or from other environments.
We determined the temporal dynamics of cambial activity and xylem cell differentiation of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) within a dry inner Alpine valley (750 m asl, Tyrol, Austria), where radial growth is strongly limited by drought in spring. Repeated micro-sampling of the developing tree ring of mature trees was carried out during 2 contrasting years at two study plots that differ in soil water availability (xeric and dry-mesic site).
In 2007, when air temperature at the beginning of the growing season in April exceeded the long-term mean by 6.4 °C, cambial cell division started in early April at both study plots. A delayed onset of cambial activity of c. 2 wk was found in 2008, when average climate conditions prevailed in spring, indicating that resumption of cambial cell division after winter dormancy is temperature-controlled. Cambial cell division consistently ended about the end of June/early July in both study years. Radial enlargement of tracheids started almost 3 wk earlier in 2007 compared with 2008 at both study plots. At the xeric site, the maximum rate of tracheid production in 2007 and 2008 was reached in early and mid-May, respectively, and c. 2 wk later, at the dry-mesic site. Since in both study years, more favorable growing conditions (i.e., an increase in soil water content) were recorded during summer, we suggest a strong sink competition for carbohydrates to mycorrhizal root and shoot growth. Wood formation stopped c. 4 wk earlier at the xeric compared with the dry-mesic site in both years, indicating a strong influence of drought stress on cell differentiation. This is supported by radial widths of earlywood cells, which were found to be significantly narrower at the xeric than at the dry-mesic site (P < 0.05).
Repeated cellular analyses during the two growing seasons revealed that, although spatial variability in the dynamics and duration of cell differentiation processes in Pinus sylvestris exposed to drought is strongly influenced by water availability, the onset of cambial activity and cell differentiation is controlled by temperature.
Cambium; dry inner Alpine valley; intra-annual growth; Scots pine; tracheid production; xylogenesis
Coastal wetlands can have exceptionally large carbon (C) stocks and their protection and restoration would constitute an effective mitigation strategy to climate change. Inclusion of coastal ecosystems in mitigation strategies requires quantification of carbon stocks in order to calculate emissions or sequestration through time. In this study, we quantified the ecosystem C stocks of coastal wetlands of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve (SKBR) in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. We stratified the SKBR into different vegetation types (tall, medium and dwarf mangroves, and marshes), and examined relationships of environmental variables with C stocks. At nine sites within SKBR, we quantified ecosystem C stocks through measurement of above and belowground biomass, downed wood, and soil C. Additionally, we measured nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from the soil and interstitial salinity. Tall mangroves had the highest C stocks (987±338 Mg ha−1) followed by medium mangroves (623±41 Mg ha−1), dwarf mangroves (381±52 Mg ha−1) and marshes (177±73 Mg ha−1). At all sites, soil C comprised the majority of the ecosystem C stocks (78–99%). Highest C stocks were measured in soils that were relatively low in salinity, high in P and low in N∶P, suggesting that P limits C sequestration and accumulation potential. In this karstic area, coastal wetlands, especially mangroves, are important C stocks. At the landscape scale, the coastal wetlands of Sian Ka'an covering ≈172,176 ha may store 43.2 to 58.0 million Mg of C.
Background and Aims
Our knowledge about the influences of environmental factors on tree growth is principally based on the study of dominant trees. However, tree social status may influence intra-annual dynamics of growth, leading to differential responses to environmental conditions. The aim was to determine whether within-stand differences in stem diameters of trees belonging to different crown classes resulted from variations in the length of the growing period or in the rate of cell production.
Cambial activity was monitored weekly in 2006 for three crown classes in a 40-year-old silver-fir (Abies alba) plantation near Nancy (France). Timings, duration and rate of tracheid production were assessed from anatomical observations of the developing xylem.
Cambial activity started earlier, stopped later and lasted longer in dominant trees than in intermediate and suppressed ones. The onset of cambial activity was estimated to have taken 3 weeks to spread to 90 % of the trees in the stand, while the cessation needed 6 weeks. Cambial activity was more intense in dominant trees than in intermediate and suppressed ones. It was estimated that about 75 % of tree-ring width variability was attributable to the rate of cell production and only 25 % to its duration. Moreover, growth duration was correlated to tree height, while growth rate was better correlated to crown area.
These results show that, in a closed conifer forest, stem diameter variations resulted principally from differences in the rate of xylem cell production rather than in its duration. Tree size interacts with environmental factors to control the timings, duration and rate of cambial activity through functional processes involving source–sink relationships principally, but also hormonal controls.
Cambial activity; forest-stand structure; silver fir (Abies alba); tree-ring formation; tree-to-tree competition; social status; wood anatomy; xylem cell differentiation