Water relations of coastal plant communities near the ocean/freshwater boundary

Leonel da Silveira Lobo Sternberg, Naomi Ish-Shalom-Gordon, Michael Ross, Joseph O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Salinity and isotope ratios were determined in water from several wells in the Florida Keys, and tidal inlets. Both D/H and 18O/16O ratios of water from wells and tidal inlets were highly correlated to their salinity. Water from standing pools was enriched in deuterium and oxygen-18 relative to their salinity because of evaporation processes. 18O/16O and D/H ratios of stem water from plants of several different communities at Sugar Loaf Key, ranging from hardwood hammocks to mangroves, were highly correlated to their predawn water potential. The correlation was consistent with the presence of high salinity in waters with high 18O and D content. Most individuals from each community were either utilizing water with isotopic characteristics typical of freshwater or of ocean water, while only a few individuals had stem water with isotopic ratios intermediate to these two water sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-310
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 1991


  • Hardwood hammock
  • Mangrove
  • Salinity
  • Stable isotopes
  • Water potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology


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