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Abiotic water quality control on mangrove distribution in estuarine river channels assessed by a novel boat-mounted electromagnetic-induction technique

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      Abstract

      Due to climate change impacts and the resulting sea-level rise, saline waters have been found further inland in tropical riverine estuaries such as the Godineau wetland, Trinidad. The saline water intrusion could constrain mangrove vegetation distribution. We investigated the surface water quality of two river channels (2 km and 6 km), emanating from a tropical wetland and from forest/agriculture at high-tide, respectively. Using a novel boat-mounted geophysical approach, spatially exhaustive river/estuarine salinity data was collected. Water quality parameters - salinity, pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) - were compared with vegetation surveyed along the course of the rivers to determine relationships between plant zonation and water quality. Our findings showed similar trends for salinity and apparent electrical conductivity, which were higher in the 2 km channel (27.10 to 31.80 dS/m) than in the 6 km channel (17.80 to 27.10 dS/m), while pH and DO levels were lower in the 2 km channel than in the 6 km channel due to higher levels of decomposition in the stagnant shorter channel. Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) was found in areas with little oxygen, high salinities and high acidity, making it more adaptable to conditions resulting from saline intrusion. Therefore, to replace the mangrove that has been lost due to die-off, the red mangrove maybe used in viable restoration efforts for the protection of inland areas from floods, as well as to provide ecosystem goods and services.

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      Salt Marsh Plant Zonation: The Relative Importance of Competition and Physical Factors

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        The Botany of Mangroves

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          Ecophysiology of mangroves

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ] University of the West Indies Trinidad and Tobago
            [2 ] University of the West Indies Trinidad and Tobago
            [3 ] University of the West Indies Trinidad and Tobago
            Contributors
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Journal
            wsa
            Water SA
            Water SA
            Water Research Commission (WRC)
            1816-7950
            July 2016
            : 42
            : 3
            : 399-407
            S1816-79502016000300004 10.4314/wsa.v42i3.04

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

            Product
            Product Information: SciELO South Africa
            Categories
            Water Resources

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