Intense storms and the delivery of materials that relieve nutrient limitations in mangroves of an arid zone estuary

Lovelock, Catherine E., Feller, Ilka C., Adame, Maria Fernanda, Reef, Ruth, Penrose, Helen M., Wei, Lili and Ball, Marilyn C. (2011) Intense storms and the delivery of materials that relieve nutrient limitations in mangroves of an arid zone estuary. Functional Plant Biology, 38 6: 514-522. doi:10.1071/FP11027

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Author Lovelock, Catherine E.
Feller, Ilka C.
Adame, Maria Fernanda
Reef, Ruth
Penrose, Helen M.
Wei, Lili
Ball, Marilyn C.
Title Intense storms and the delivery of materials that relieve nutrient limitations in mangroves of an arid zone estuary
Journal name Functional Plant Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1445-4408
Publication date 2011-06-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/FP11027
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 38
Issue 6
Start page 514
End page 522
Total pages 9
Place of publication Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Tropical cyclones can be devastating to ecosystems, but they can also result in pulses of fresh water and sediments delivered in floodwaters to the coastal zone. In the arid zone the pulses provided by cyclones may be particularly important for the maintenance of productivity. We examined the impacts of Cyclone Pancho on growth and nutrient limitations to growth in mangroves on the arid coast of Western Australia. We found that growth of trees was enhanced after the cyclone, more than doubling their rates of stem extension. Fertilisation studies showed that before the cyclone tree growth was nutrient limited. After the cyclone fertilisation treatments had no significant effect on growth, indicating nutrients had been delivered during the storm. Additionally, before the cyclone the efficiency of resorption of phosphorus and nitrogen from senescent leaves was higher than after the cyclone, suggesting that nutrient availability was enhanced. Analysis of stable isotopes of leaf tissue indicated that the cyclone was associated with small changes in water use efficiency, consistent with decreased soil salinity associated with the cyclone. There was, however, significant reductions in δ15N indicating enhanced N supply potentially from a new source. We conclude that in the arid zone, floodwater associated with cyclones is important for the delivery of nutrient subsidies that stimulate mangrove growth and that predicted future reductions in the frequency of cyclones will have negative impacts on the productivity of these ecosystems.
Keyword Avicennia marina
Cyclone Pancho
Exmouth Gulf
Giralia Bay
Resorption efficiency
Western Australia
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 17 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 18 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 30 Aug 2011, 20:44:59 EST by Ms Ruth Reef on behalf of School of Biological Sciences