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Publication Type J
Authors Brown, C. E. and A. Rajkaran
Title Biomass partitioning in an endemic southern African salt marsh species Salicornia tegetaria (Chenopodiaceae)
Source African Journal of Aquatic Science
Author Keywords climate change root shoot ratio salinity sediment particle size sea-level rise sea-level rise plant zonation sarcocornia-perennis organic-matter spartina-alterniflora spatial-distribution aboveground biomass relative importance soil-salinity vegetation
Abstract The below ground biomass of salt marsh species accounts for more than half of the total plant biomass in salt marsh systems, yet no biomass data exist for salt marsh species in South Africa. The aims of the current study were to compare the biomass allocation of Salicornia tegetaria in six estuaries and relate findings to their environmental conditions. The current study measured the physico-chemical variables of the sediment (moisture content, organic matter content, electrical conductivity, pH) and pore water (temperature, salinity, pH, depth) at Olifants, Berg, Langebaan, Heuningnes, Nahoon and Kwelerha estuaries. Above and below ground biomass and stem height measurements were also collected. The below ground biomass (1.51 +/- 0.24 kg m(-2)) and root/shoot ratio (1.36 +/- 0.17) was the lowest at Heuningnes Estuary with no significant difference at the remaining estuaries, suggesting that factors, such as geomorphology and sedimentological processes, could have a stronger effect on the biomass allocation in this species. Important drivers of biomass allocation were sediment pH, redox potential and pore water depth. The current study provides baseline information for S. tegetaria, an endemic salt marsh species, for which there is a paucity of data. This species plays a major role in the ecology of the lower intertidal zone, which will be vulnerable to sea-level rise.
Author Address [Brown, C. E.; Rajkaran, A.] Univ Western Cape, Dept Biodivers & Conservat Biol, Cape Town, South Africa. Brown, CE (reprint author), Univ Western Cape, Dept Biodivers & Conservat Biol, Cape Town, South Africa. cebrown.uwc@gmail.com
ISSN 1608-5914
ISBN 1608-5914
29-Character Source Abbreviation Afr. J. Aquat. Sci.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.2989/16085914.2019.1687419
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000513973500001

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