The Effect of Mangrove Leaf Litter Enrichment on Macrobenthic Colonization of Defaunated Sandy Substrates

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Lee, SY
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1999
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Abstract

The importance of exported mangrove materials to nearshore macrobenthos has largely been predicted based upon decomposition and utilization studies conducted within the mangrove environment, and from quantitative measurements of export. The present study evaluated the impact of mangrove leaf litter enrichment on non-mangrove substrates in a high-salinity microcosm experiment. Fortnightly addition of Kandelia candel leaf detritus at levels equivalent to 0·66 and 0·33 mg cm−2day−1in defaunated sand in microcosms maintained under high salinity conditions and on a sandy substrate resulted in no significant differences from the control in total faunal dry biomass or ash-free dry weight (AFDW) after 28, 73, 137 and 217 days of experiment. Duration of experiment was significant in determining the biomass (both dry weight and AFDW) of the macrofaunal assemblage in the microcosms, but neither enrichment nor its interaction with time had an effect. Species richness, Shannon diversity and evenness, and the total number of individuals, however, decreased in the order control>low enrichment>high enrichment for almost all sampling dates. By contrast, soluble tannins in the microcosm sediment demonstrated the reverse pattern. Both duration of experiment and enrichment were significant in determining species richness and the total number of individuals. The interaction between time and enrichment level was significant in the former but not the latter case. Discriminant analysis performed on the species abundance data indicated distinct animal assemblages characteristic of the three enrichment levels. These findings suggest that mangrove organic matter may not necessarily result in enhancement effects on marine benthos but high concentrations of tannins may hamper colonization by the macrobenthos.

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Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science

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49

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5

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Earth Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Biological Sciences

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