Mangrove distribution and mosquito control: transport of Avicennia marina propagules by mosquito-control runnels in southeast Queensland saltmarshes
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The saltmarsh-mangrove interface generally constitutes the landward boundary for the grey mangrove Avicennia marina var. australasica, the most widespread species on southeast Queensland shores. A. marina produces buoyant propagules, which are dispersed by tidal waters, only infrequently transported to saltmarsh by the highest spring tides. We predicted that runnelling, a form of habitat modification for mosquito control, transports and deposits mangrove propagules to saltmarsh because the runnels carry low-amplitude tides that would not normally inundate higher regions of the marsh. To test this, groups of marked A. marina propagules were released at three runnelled saltmarshes in southeast Queensland during high-amplitude, flooding and low-amplitude, non-flooding tidal events. The distance propagules were transported from their original starting positions on the saltmarsh-mangrove interface was measured and analysed to detect differences among groups at different distances from runnels. Groups of propagules released within 10 m of a runnel were always transported significantly further from the starting position and further up the saltmarsh shore after both flooding and non-flooding tides than any other groups. In addition, the pattern of stranding on saltmarsh for significantly different groups was closely associated with the path of runnel construction so that propagules were located either in the runnel or in depressions linked to the runnel that had been isolated mosquito-breeding pools prior to runnelling. Observations of A. marina plants at other runnelled sites suggest that propagules transported by runnels can establish and develop to maturity, at least in depressions and runnels, in saltmarsh. The fact that runnels transport propagules to regions of the saltmarsh beyond their normal limits of dispersion suggests a possible advantage for landward extension of the intertidal distribution of A. marina at runnelled sites and should be considered in saltmarsh management and mosquito control programmes in southeast Queensland.
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
© 2003 Elsevier : Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher : This journal is available online - use hypertext links.
HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY