Nutrient enrichment effects on mangrove sediments from differing tree height zones in Bocas del Toro, Panama
Borgatti, Aimee Rachel
O'Neil, Judith M
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Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle L.) forests have distinct tree-height zones, with tall trees fringing the ocean and shorter trees in interior stands. A long-term nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilization experiment in Almirante Bay, Bocas del Toro Province, Panama has shown that tree-height zonation is primarily related to nutrient limitation. This experiment was used to test the effects of in-situ nutrient additions and tree zonation on mangrove sediments. The sediments underlying the experimental R. mangle trees were sampled and N<sub>2</sub> fixation, <sup>15</sup>N, chlorophyll a, percent N and P, and percent organic biomass were quantified. Both N and P additions significantly affected almost every parameter measured in both zones within this experiment. These results are likely to have implications for management since N and P inputs are predicted to increase throughout the tropics and subtropics worldwide.