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Interaction between water and wind as a driver of passive dispersal in mangroves
Van der Stocken, T.; Vanschoenwinkel, B.; De Ryck, D.J.R.; Bouma, T.J.; Dahdouh-Guebas, F.; Koedam, N. (2015). Interaction between water and wind as a driver of passive dispersal in mangroves. PLoS One 10(3): 0121593.
In: PLoS One. Public Library of Science: San Francisco. ISSN 1932-6203, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Van der Stocken, T., more
  • Vanschoenwinkel, B., more
  • De Ryck, D.J.R., more
  • Bouma, T.J., more
  • Dahdouh-Guebas, F., more
  • Koedam, N., more

    Although knowledge on dispersal patterns is essential for predicting long-term population dynamics, critical information on the modalities of passive dispersal and potential interactions between vectors is often missing. Here, we use mangrove propagules with a wide variety of morphologies to investigate the interaction between water and wind as a driver of passive dispersal. We imposed 16 combinations of wind and hydrodynamic conditions in a flume tank, using propagules of six important mangrove species (and genera), resulting in a set of dispersal morphologies that covers most variation present in mangrove propagules worldwide. Additionally, we discussed the broader implications of the outcome of this flume study on the potential of long distance dispersal for mangrove propagules in nature, applying a conceptual model to a natural mangrove system in Gazi Bay (Kenya). Overall, the effect of wind on dispersal depended on propagule density (g l-1). The low-density Heritiera littoralis propagules were most affected by wind, while the high-density vertically floating propagules of Ceriops tagal and Bruguiera gymnorrhiza were least affected. Avicennia marina, and horizontally floating Rhizophora mucronata and C. tagal propagules behaved similarly. Morphological propagule traits, such as the dorsal sail of H. littoralis, explained another part of the interspecific differences. Within species, differences in dispersal velocities can be explained by differences in density and for H. littoralis also by variations in the shape of the dorsal sail. Our conceptual model illustrates that different propagule types have a different likelihood of reaching the open ocean depending on prevailing water and wind currents. Results suggest that in open water, propagule traits (density, morphology, and floating orientation) appear to determine the effect of water and wind currents on dispersal dynamics. This has important implications for inter- and intraspecific variation in dispersal patterns and the likelihood of reaching suitable habitat patches within a propagule's viable period.

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