Flávia Rebelo Mochel


Structural analysis of mangrove  forests was carried out in Turiaçu Bay during 1997 and 1998. The study area is influenced by brackish to saline waters with the occurrence of Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa and Conocarpus erectus. The other two red mangrove species R. racemosa and R. harrisonii occur mostly in freshwater and oligohaline environments and were not included in this paper. It was measured all mangrove trees over 2.5 cm of DBH (Diameter at Breast Height), inside 26 plots of 30 x 30 m, in the right side of the bay. The sample sites were arbitrarily selected considering 3 mangrove types: fringe, riverine and basin mangroves. The results show high structural variability. Mangrove species may be present in homogeneous, monospecific stands or in mixed stands of 2 or 3 species. Tree height ranged from 2 to 20 m and DBH from 3 to 35 cm with estimated basal area ranging from 1 to 50 m2 /ha. Estimated tree density ranged from 200 to 2,000 trees/ha. The best developed stands were found in well flushed areas fringing the bay or along river margins. The less developed mangroves were found to be the basin type, in dried, sandy soils, in poorly flushed areas. The correlations between structural parameters were positive for tree height x DBH (r= 0.88), tree height x basal area (r= 0.87), and negative to tree density x DBH (r= -0.71) and tree height x tree density (r= -0.60). The most abundant and best developed species is A. germinans, followed by R. mangle. L. racemosa is less abundant as well less developed in structure than the others, independent of its location in fringe, basin or riverine stands. The high structural variability sets the fragility of mangrove ecosystems in Turiaçu Bay and the necessity of adjusting management techniques to achieve sustainable development.

Keywords: mangrove structure, mangrove landscape, Amazonian coast, coastal ecosystems.


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