Estimating above-ground biomass and production in mangrove communities of Biscayne National Park, Florida (U.S.A.) Article

Ross, MS, Ruiz, PL, Telesnicki, GJ et al. (2001). Estimating above-ground biomass and production in mangrove communities of Biscayne National Park, Florida (U.S.A.) . WETLANDS ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, 9(1), 27-37. 10.1023/A:1008411103288

cited authors

  • Ross, MS; Ruiz, PL; Telesnicki, GJ; Meeder, JF



  • Total above-ground production is usually estimated by a combination of allometry and litter collection. However, in coastal sites that are tidally influenced, or in juvenile or dwarf forests where the crown bases of dominant individuals may begin within a few decimeters of ground level, estimates of community leaf production that depend on litter collection may not be feasible. Thus, in this paper, we present 1) allometric equations that allow accurate estimation of total above-ground biomass of three mangrove species (Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa, and Avicennia germinans) in very small to medium size classes, and 2) an alternative method of estimating total above-ground production that overcomes the limitations of litter collection. The method we employ to estimate mangrove productivity is an adaptation for woody plant communities of a procedure introduced by Dai and Weigert (1996) for grasslands. It incorporates a detailed census of all individuals within fixed sampling plots, along with periodic observations of marked leaf cohorts. The method allows the comparison of biomass allocation patterns among forests that differ widely in physiognomy and physiographic setting. The method was applied to a South Florida fringe mangrove forest in the early stages of recovery from Hurricane Andrew (August 1992), and an adjacent dwarf forest which was not substantially damaged by the storm. Total above-ground production in the fringe forest from July 1996 through June 1997 was about 3 times higher than dwarf forest production, 26.1 Mg·ha-1·yr-1 vs. 8.1 Mg·ha-1·yr-1, respectively. Furthermore, when compared to the dwarf forest, fringe production rates were approximately eight, six, six, and two times as high as dwarf forest rates for proproots, branches, stems, and leaves, respectively. Calculations of leaf production were based on mean red mangrove leaf longevities that ranged from about 189 days to 281 days, depending on cohort and site. Repeated measures analysis of variance indicated that leaf life spans did not differ significantly between dwarf and fringe forests, but did differ among leaf cohorts. Based on reported values for similar mangrove forests, the method provided reasonable estimates of above-ground biomass and production, while furnishing relevant auxiliary information on spatial and temporal variation in leaf demographic patterns. Furthermore, the partitioning of annual production between woody tissues and leaves followed the reported trend in most forest ecosystems.

publication date

  • March 28, 2001

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 27

end page

  • 37


  • 9


  • 1