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Coastal

and Estuarine

Studies

Managing Editors'
Malcolm J. Bowman

Richard T. Barber

ChristopherN.K. Mooers John A. Raven

Coastal
and Estuarine

Studies

41

A.I. Robertsonand D.M. Alongi (Eds.)

Tropical Mangrove
Ecosystems

American Geophysical Union


Washington,DC

Managing Editors
Malcolm

J. Bowman

Marine Sciences Research Center, State Universityof New York


Stony Brook,N.Y. 11794, USA
Richard T. Barber

Duke Marine Laboratory


Beaufort, N.C. 28516, USA

ChristopherN.K. Mooers
Ocean ProcessAnalysisLaboratory
Institutefor the Studyof the Earth,Oceans and Space
Universityof New Hampshire
Durham, N.H. 03824-3525, USA
John A. Raven

Dept. of BiologicalSciences,DundeeUniversity
Dundee, DD1 4HN, Scotland

Editors

Alistar I. Robertson

Daniel M. Alongi

Australian Institute of Marine Science

Australian Institute of Marine Science

PMB No 3

PMB No 3

Townsville MC

Townsville MC

Queensland 4810

Queensland

AUSTRALIA

AUSTRALIA

4810

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-PublicationData

Tropicalmangroveecosystems/ A.I. Robertsonand D.M. Alongi(eds.).


p.
cm.- (Coastaland estuarineseries; 41)
Includesbibliographical
references.
ISBN 0-87590-255-3

1. Mangroveswampecology. I. Robertson,A. I. (AlistarI.)


II. Alongi,D. M. (DanielM.)
III. Series.
QH541.5.M27T76
574.5'26325dc20

1992
92-44357

CIP
ISSN 0733-9569
ISBN 0-87590-255-3

Copyright
1992by theAmerican
Geophysical
Union,2000 FloridaAvenue,NW,Washington,
DC 20009, U.S.A.

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Printed in the United States of America.

Preface

Mangroveforestsare a dominantfeatureof tropicalcoasts. Like their terrestrialcounterparts


theseforestsare underthreatworldwidethrougha variety of destructivehumanpractices.As
is also the case with tropical terrestrial forests, managementdecisionsabout mangrove
ecosystemsare currentlybeing made often without adequatefundamentalknowledgeof the
processescontrollingnaturalecosystemfunction.
Since the mid 1970's,the AustralianInstituteof Marine Science(ALMS) has had in place
a researchprogram investigatingthe structureand dynamicsof mangrove ecosystemsin
tropical Australia. Early results of this researchwere summarizedin 1982 in the book
entitled Mangrove ecosystems
in Australia.' structure,function and management,edited by
B.F. Clough. We felt that the time was ripe for a review of work during the decade19811991, and soapproachedall pastandpresentAIMS mangroveresearchworkersto contribute
to this volume. With the exceptionof Steve Blaber and Colin Woodroffe, all authorshave
worked at AIMS as staff members,or visiting scientists.We thoughtit appropriatethat since
John Bunt instigated much of the early work on mangrove ecosystemsin northeastern
Australia, he should introduce this volume.

While we are sure that this volume will serve as a useful sourcebook for managersof
mangrovewetlands,most chaptersidentify the often substantialgapsin our knowledgeof
thesesystems.Given the rate of lossof mangroveforestsworldwide,the challengefor future
workerson tropicalmangrovesystemswill be to fill theseimportantgapsin our knowledge,
while at the same time publicizing their researchresults and making them available to
managers(seeChapter 11, this volume).

All major chapterswere reviewedby one externaland one AIMS scientist. We thank
Marylin Ball, BetsyJackes,Chad Pattiaratchi,RichardPearson,GordonThayer,BruceThom,
Ivan Valiela and Bill Wiebe for review of chapters. All word processingwas performedby
FrancesConn,SteveClarke,RhondaLyons,SueSmithandKim Wicks. Marty Edenproduced
all of the final figuresandChristineCansfield-Smith
producedthecamerareadytext anddid the
copy editing. We also acknowledge the scientific support sectionsat AIMS for their
professional
assistance
with muchof theresearch
reviewedin thisvolume.
Alistar Robertsonand Daniel Alongi
Townsville, June 1992.

Contents

Preface
List of Contributors
1

ix

Introduction
J.S. Bunt

Mangrove sedimentsand geomorphology


C. Woodroffe

Mangrove hydrodynamics
E. Wolanski, Y. Mazda and P. Ridd

43

Mangrove floristics and biogeography


N.C.

63

Duke

Forest

structure

T.J. Smith III


Benthic

101

communities

D.M. Alongi andA. Sasekumar

137

Plankton, epibenthosand fish communities


A.I. Robertson

10

and S.J.M. B laber

Primary productivity and growth of mangrove forests


B.F. Clough

225

Nitrogen and phosphoruscycles


D.M. Alongi, K.G. Boto and A.I. Robertson

251

Food chains and carbon

fluxes

A.I. Robertson,D.M. Alongi and K.G. Boto


11

173

293

Concluding remarks' research and mangrove conservation


A.I. Robertson

327

List of Contributors

Dr B.F. Clough

Dr D.M. Alongi
Australian
PMB

Institute

of Marine

Science

Australian
PMB

No 3

Townsville

Institute of Marine

Townsville

MC

MC

Queensland4810

Queensland4810

AUSTRALIA

AUSTRALIA

Dr N.C. Duke

Dr S.J.M. B laber

CSIRO

Marine

Science

No 3

SmithsonianTropicalResearchInstitute

Laboratories

Box 2072

PO Box 120
Cleveland

Balboa

Queensland4163

REPUBLIC

OF PANAMA

AUSTRALIA

Prof. Y. Mazda
Dr K.G. Boto

Australian
PMB

Institute of Marine

Schoolof Marine Scienceand Technology


Tokai University
Orido

No 3

Townsville

Science

MC

Shimizu

Queensland4810

Shizuoka

AUSTRALIA

JAPAN

Dr J.S. Bunt

Dr P. Ridd

4/6 McDonald Street


Potts Point

Departmentof Physics
JamesCookUniversityof North Queensland

N.S.W.

Townsville

2011

AUSTRALIA

424

Queensland4811
AUSTRALIA

ix

List of Contributors

Dr A.I.

PMB

Dr E Wolanski

Robertson

Australian

Institute

of Marine

Science

Townsville

Australian

PMB

No 3

MC

Institute

of Marine

No 3

Townsville

MC

Queensland4810

Queensland4810

AUSTRALIA

AUSTRALIA

Dr A. Sasekumar

Dr C. Woodroffe

Departmentof Zoology
University of Malaya
Kuala Lumpur

Departmentof Geography
University of Wollongong
PO Box 1144

MALAYSIA

Wollongong
N.S.W.

2500

AUSTRALIA

Dr T.J. Smith III

RookeryBay National EstuarineResearch


Reserve

Florida Departmentof Natural Resources


10 Shell Island Road

Naples
Florida
U.S.A.

33962

Science