Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle L.) litter fall response to selective pruning (Indian River Lagoon, Florida, U.S.A.) Article

Parkinson, RW, Perez-Bedmar, M, Santangelo, JA. (1999). Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle L.) litter fall response to selective pruning (Indian River Lagoon, Florida, U.S.A.) . HYDROBIOLOGIA, 413 63-76. 10.1023/A:1003803213537

cited authors

  • Parkinson, RW; Perez-Bedmar, M; Santangelo, JA


  • This 33 month study quantified red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle L.) litter fall response to a selective pruning event using fringing forests located along the Indian River Lagoon, Florida, U.S.A. Selective pruning consisted of the removal of as many as 50% of the lateral branches originating between 2.1m (7ft) and 4.5m (15ft) above the forest floor while maintaining at least 50% of the forest canopy. Subcanopy light transmission data were used to estimate the impact of pruning on canopy closure and monthly measurements were obtained thereafter to monitor recovery. Estimates of litter fall were based upon biweekly sampling from ten 0.25 m2 traps randomly placed in four 5 x 10 m control and impact plots. Following selective pruning, subcanopy light transmission increased by more than 30%. This provided a favorable environment for enhanced mangrove propagule recruitment, but several exotic species, including Brazilian Pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), also invaded the forest beneath canopy gaps. Subcanopy light transmission within the impact plots has steadily declined since pruning and within 12 months had approached control plot levels. The results of our BACI impact assessment suggest mean forest litter fall production before and after pruning was not significantly different. However, inspection of the graphical output suggest all components of litter fall declined immediately after impact. Convergence towards pre-impact production levels took ~6 months. Many mangrove forests in peninsular Florida are subjected to multiple pruning events or other forms of repeated mechanical alteration by homeowners who seek to maintain a scenic vista of the Indian River Lagoon or other coastal waterway. The cumulative effect of stress induced by repeated impact is unknown at present.

publication date

  • October 15, 1999

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 63

end page

  • 76


  • 413