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Hydrodynamic Processes in Tropical Mangroves

Hydrodynamische Prozesse in tropischen Mangroven

  • Hydrodynamic processes play a fundamental role in the distribution of salt within mangrove-fringed estuaries and mangrove forests. In this thesis, two hydrodynamic processes and their ecological implications were examined. (1) Passive Irrigation and Functional Morphology of Crustacean Burrows in Rhizophora-forests. The mangrove Rhizophora excludes more than 90% of the seawater salt at water intake at the roots. By means of conductivity methods and resin casting, it was found that crustacean burrows play a key role in the removal of excess salt from the root zone. Salt diffuses from the roots into the burrows, and is efficiently flushed from the burrows by rainwater infiltration and tidal irrigation. The burrows contribute significantly to favourable conditions for the growth of Rhizophora trees. (2) Trapping of Mangrove Propagules due to Density-driven Secondary Circulation in Tropical Estuaries. In North East Australian estuaries, mangrove propagules are drifted upstream by density-driven axial surface convergences. Propagules accumulate in hydrodynamic traps upstream from suitable habitat, where they are trapped at least for the entire tropical dry season. Axial convergences may provide an efficient barrier for propagule exchange across estuaries. In such estuaries, mangrove populations can be regarded as floristically isolated, not unlike island communities, even though the populations lie on a continuous coastline. This effect may contribute to the disjunct distribution observed in some mangrove species. The outcomes of this work contribute to the understanding of the importance of salt as a growth and habitat-restricting factor in the mangrove environment.

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Author:Thomas Stieglitz
Advisor: Prof Dr Dr hc mult Paul Müller
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2004/06/03
Publishing institution:Universität Trier
Granting institution:Universität Trier, Fachbereich 6
Date of final exam:2002/01/23
Release Date:2004/06/03
Tag:burrows; flushing; hydrodynamics; mangrove; salt
GND Keyword:Australien <Nordost>; Drift; Hydrodynamik; Mangrove; Oberflächenströmung; Salzgehalt; Samen; Wurzelraum; Ästuar
Institutes:Fachbereich 6 / Raum- und Umweltwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften

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