MEPS 221:117-124 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/meps221117

Retrospective estimates of net leaf production in Kandelia candel mangrove forests

Sarah C. Coulter1,*, Carlos M. Duarte2, Mai Sy Tuan3, Nguyen Hoang Tri3, Hoang Thi Ha3, Le Huong Giang3, Phan Nguyen Hong3

1University of Victoria, PO Box 3025, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3P2, Canada
2Instituto Mediterráneo de Estudios Avanzados (IMEDEA), CSIC-Universidad illes Balears, C/ Miquel Marqués 21, 07190 Esporles Mallorca, Islas Baleares, Spain
3Mangrove Ecosystem Research Division, Centre for Natural Resource and Environment Studies, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, So 7, Ngo115, Pho Nguyen Khuyen, Hanoi, Vietnam
*Present address: Box 633, Invermere, British Columbia V0A 1K0, Canada. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: A new, inexpensive, and time-saving method for the estimation of the net production of leaves and reproductive structures of mangroves was applied to 2 Vietnamese stands of Kandelia candel. The method combines the allometric relationship between the number of meristems in trees and their diameter with knowledge of the number of leaf pairs and reproductive structures each meristem develops annually to calculate the net leaf and inflorescence production of each tree in the stand. Each apical meristem of K. candel produced about 6 leaf pairs and 1.3 to 1.9 inflorescences annually, with the number of meristems in each tree increasing to the square of their girth. The size distribution of K. candel was highly skewed at all sites, with an exponential decline in the number of plants as the size increased. The net leaf production (dry wt), calculated by scaling the production per meristem to that of individual trees and then to the entire stand, ranged from 176.5 to 1338.7 g m-2 yr-1 among stands, with an estimated total inflorescence production ranging from 0.91 to 101 g m-2 yr-1. The largest individuals, comprising 10 % of the population, contributed the majority of the stand production. The approach demonstrated overcomes serious deficiencies in the traditional litter-fall method, particularly when applied to developing mangrove stands, and should be applicable to other mangrove species as long as they display clear nodes, leaf, flower and fruit scars, as do other members of the Rhizophoraceae family.

KEY WORDS: Mangrove · Primary production · Litterfall · Kandelia candel · Rhizophoraceae · Vietman

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