Competition between hardwood hammocks and mangroves

Leonel Sternberg, Su Yean Teh, Sharon M L Ewe, Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm, Donald L. DeAngelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The boundaries between mangroves and freshwater hammocks in coastal ecotones of South Florida are sharp. Further, previous studies indicate that there is a discontinuity in plant predawn water potentials, with woody plants either showing predawn water potentials reflecting exposure to saline water or exposure to freshwater. This abrupt concurrent change in community type and plant water status suggests that there might be feedback dynamics between vegetation and salinity. A model examining the salinity of the aerated zone of soil overlying a saline body of water, known as the vadose layer, as a function of precipitation, evaporation and plant water uptake is presented here. The model predicts that mixtures of saline and freshwater vegetative species represent unstable states. Depending on the initial vegetation composition, subsequent vegetative change will lead either to patches of mangrove coverage having a high salinity vadose zone or to freshwater hammock coverage having a low salinity vadose zone. Complete or nearly complete coverage by either freshwater or saltwater vegetation represents two stable steady-state points. This model can explain many of the previous observations of vegetation patterns in coastal South Florida as well as observations on the dynamics of vegetation shifts caused by sea level rise and climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-660
Number of pages13
JournalEcosystems
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007

Fingerprint

Hardwoods
hardwood
mangrove
vegetation
Water
salinity
vadose zone
saline water
water potential
water
saline soils
vegetation dynamics
ecotones
Sea level
ecotone
water uptake
woody plant
woody plants
Climate change
sea level

Keywords

  • Fragmentation
  • Hammocks
  • Mangroves
  • Sea level rise
  • Steady-state
  • Vadose layer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Sternberg, L., Teh, S. Y., Ewe, S. M. L., Miralles-Wilhelm, F., & DeAngelis, D. L. (2007). Competition between hardwood hammocks and mangroves. Ecosystems, 10(4), 648-660. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-007-9050-y

Competition between hardwood hammocks and mangroves. / Sternberg, Leonel; Teh, Su Yean; Ewe, Sharon M L; Miralles-Wilhelm, Fernando; DeAngelis, Donald L.

In: Ecosystems, Vol. 10, No. 4, 01.06.2007, p. 648-660.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sternberg, L, Teh, SY, Ewe, SML, Miralles-Wilhelm, F & DeAngelis, DL 2007, 'Competition between hardwood hammocks and mangroves', Ecosystems, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 648-660. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-007-9050-y
Sternberg L, Teh SY, Ewe SML, Miralles-Wilhelm F, DeAngelis DL. Competition between hardwood hammocks and mangroves. Ecosystems. 2007 Jun 1;10(4):648-660. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-007-9050-y
Sternberg, Leonel ; Teh, Su Yean ; Ewe, Sharon M L ; Miralles-Wilhelm, Fernando ; DeAngelis, Donald L. / Competition between hardwood hammocks and mangroves. In: Ecosystems. 2007 ; Vol. 10, No. 4. pp. 648-660.
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