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Title: Heterogeneity of elemental composition and natural abundance of stables isotopes of C and N in soils and leaves of mangroves at their southernmost West Atlantic range

Author: Tognella, M. M. P.; Soares, M. L. G.; Cuevas, E.; Medina, E.;

Date: 2016

Source: Brazilian Journal of Biology

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Mangrove communities were selected in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, near their southernmost limit of distribution, to study mineral nutrient relation in soils and plants. Communities included three true mangrove species, Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa and Avicennia germinans, and two associated species, the fern Acrostichum danaeifolium, and the grass Spartina densiflora. The sites included communities in the lower Río Tavares near Florianopolis city, Sonho beach near Palhoça city, and the Santo Antonio lagoon. These sites included a full range of mangroves under humid climate where winter temperatures, instead of salinity, may be the main factor regulating their productive capacity and species composition. Soil salinity was determined by the concentration of soluble Na, and soil C and N were linearly correlated indicating their association in organic matter. Tavares site showed higher specific conductivity, and concentrations of Na and Mg in the soil layer below 40 cm depth, indicating larger influence of marine water. Isotopic signature of C increased with soil depth suggesting that microorganisms decomposing organic matter are releasing 13C depleted CO2. Nitrogen isotopic signature decreased with soil depth, indicating enrichment in 15N possibly as a result of denitrification in the upper soil layers. Mineral elements in leaf tissues showed A. schaueriana with higher concentrations of N, P, Na, K, Cu, Zn, and Na/Ca ratio. Spartina densiflora was characterized by the lowest N and K concentrations, and the highest concentrations of Al and Fe. Rhizophora mangle and L. racemosa had the highest Ca concentrations. Carbon isotopic signatures identified S. densiflora as a C4 plant, and A. schaueriana as the mangrove species occupying comparatively more water stressed microsites than the rest. Leaf nitrogen isotopic signatures were positive, in correspondence with the soil values. The results support the hypothesis that sites sampled were comparatively fertile, because sediment transport through fresh water run-off is predominant in humid coasts, and therefore plants were not limited by nutrient supply, nor particularly stressed by soil salinity.

Keywords: mangroves, soils, leaves, nutrients, stable isotopes, southwestern Atlantic latitudinal limit

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Tognella, M. M. P.; Soares, M. L. G.; Cuevas, E.; Medina, E. 2016. Heterogeneity of elemental composition and natural abundance of stables isotopes of C and N in soils and leaves of mangroves at their southernmost West Atlantic range. Brazilian Journal of Biology(ahead): 1-10.

 


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