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MEPS
Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 370:97-109 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07661

Growth and development of mangrove forests overlying smothered coral reefs, Sulawesi and Sumatra, Indonesia

Daniel M. Alongi1,*, Lindsay A. Trott1, Rachmansyah2, Frank Tirendi1, A. David McKinnon1, Mohammed C. Undu2

1Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3, Townsville MC, Queensland 4810, Australia
2Research Institute for Coastal Aquaculture, Jl. Makmur Dg. Sitakka, Maros, Sulawesi Selatan, Indonesia

ABSTRACT: Smothering of many fringing coral reefs in Indonesia has led to mangrove colonization of the overlying soils in a process of human-induced succession. On the islands of Sulawesi and Sumatra, we measured some structural and functional attributes of 4 mangrove forests that have colonized such soil drapes. The forests varied extensively in stem density, above-ground biomass, and in leaf area index. We estimated accumulation rates of above-ground forest biomass of 1.5 to 8.1 t C ha–1 yr–1, similar to other mangroves. The ratio of greenhouse C and N emissions from soils averaged 35 compared with an average soil C:N ratio of 38. Soil ammonification was sufficient to meet forest N demand. A value of 1 to 4% of soil C metabolism was involved in dissolving carbonate, with sulfate reduction being the major decomposition pathway. Rapid rates of N2 loss were measured, but there was no detectable N2O release. Rates of nitrogen fixation on the soil surface ranged from 97 to 1648 µmol N m–2 d–1, but higher rates (860 to 4316 µmol N m–2 d–1) were measured on microbial mats covering pneumatophores, suggesting N2 fixation on above-ground tree parts may balance soil N2 losses. Rates of forest biomass accumulation related exponentially to rates of soil C and N metabolism, reflecting a close relationship between tree growth and nutrient availability as mediated by microbes in these shallow soils. These patterns are similar to those in other mangrove forests, and illustrate that human-induced change has resulted in a clear shift from reef-dominated to mangrove-dominated habitats and functional characteristics in parts of coastal Indonesia.


KEY WORDS: Carbon · Greenhouse gases · Mangrove · Nitrogen · Indonesia


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Cite this article as: Alongi DM, Trott LA, Rachmansyah, Tirendi F, McKinnon AD, Undu MC (2008) Growth and development of mangrove forests overlying smothered coral reefs, Sulawesi and Sumatra, Indonesia. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 370:97-109. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07661

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