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Publication Type J
Authors Erftemeijer, PLA; Hamerlynck, O
Author Full Name Erftemeijer, PLA; Hamerlynck, O
Title Die-back of the mangrove Heritiera littoralis dryand, in the Rufiji Delta (Tanzania) following El Nino floods
Source JOURNAL OF COASTAL RESEARCH
Language English
Document Type Article
Author Keywords Barringtonia racemosa; inventory; regeneration; tree mortality
Keywords Plus SEA-LEVEL RISE; PHYSIOLOGICAL-RESPONSES; MASS MORTALITY; GAS-EXCHANGE; GROWTH; AUSTRALIA; SEEDLINGS; SALINITY; ECOSYSTEM; FORESTS
Abstract The Rufiji Delta is one of the most important wetlands in Tanzania, owing to its significant biodiversity and mangrove forest resources, that cover some 53,255 ha or 46% of the country's total mangrove area. The Rufiji is the largest river in Tanzania, draining 20% of the country. During the El Nino Southern Oscillation Event of 98, heavy rains caused the Rufiji River to swell well beyond its banks resulting in extensive floods, which lasted at least 6 months. The flow of the Rufiji River during this period had reached an exceptionally high peak of 10,300 m(3) s(-1), which is about double the maximum peak flows recorded previously over the last 50 years. After floodwaters had receded, it became apparent that significant tracts of mangrove forest in the upper reaches of northern delta had died. Analysis of a series of 1999 aerial photographs indicated that an area of approximately ha of mangrove forest had experienced massive tree mortality. A detailed field survey three years after the revealed that this mortality was for the major part limited to mature trees of the economically valuable species Heritiera littoralis. Another tree species, Barringtonia racemosa, co-occurring in the same forest stands, largely survived the excessive floods. At the time of the survey, the die-back areas were predominantly covered by dense understory vegetation of vines, climbers, sedges, grasses, ferns and shrubs. Forest regeneration of the areas was characterized by a massive development of B. racemosa seedlings and saplings (> 9,000 and > 4,000 respectively). Regrowth of H. littoralis was minimal (20 seedlings ha(-1) and 22 saplings ha(-1)) and viable seeds on the forest floor were absent (unlike Barringtonia seeds, which reached densities of over 4,000 ha(-1)).
Author Address Delft Hydraul, WL, NL-2600 MH Delft, Netherlands; World Conservat Union, IUCN, Rufiji Environm Management Project, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Reprint Address Erftemeijer, PLA (reprint author), Delft Hydraul, WL, POB 177, NL-2600 MH Delft, Netherlands.
E-mail Address paul.erftemeijer@wldelft.nl; miromao@hotmail.com
ORCID Number Erftemeijer, Paul/0000-0002-2904-7422
Cited Reference Count 54
Times Cited 13
Total Times Cited Count (WoS, BCI, and CSCD) 14
Publisher COASTAL EDUCATION & RESEARCH FOUNDATION
Publisher City COCONUT CREEK
Publisher Address 5130 NW 54TH STREET, COCONUT CREEK, FL 33073 USA
ISSN 0749-0208
29-Character Source Abbreviation J COASTAL RES
ISO Source Abbreviation J. Coast. Res.
Publication Date SPR
Year Published 2005
Special Issue 42
Beginning Page 228
Ending Page 235
Page Count 8
Web of Science Category Environmental Sciences; Geography, Physical; Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Subject Category Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Physical Geography; Geology
Document Delivery Number 947FU
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000230629600026
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