Comparison of ecophysiological characteristics between introduced and indigenous mangrove species in China

Luzhen Chen, Nora F.Y. Tam, Jianhui Huang, Xueqin Zeng, Xiangli Meng, Cairong Zhong, Yuk shan Wong, Guanghui Lin

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46 Citations (Scopus)


Due to its rapid growth, the introduced mangrove species Sonneratia apetala from Bangladesh has been widely used in mangrove restoration in southeastern China since 1985. As an indigenous mangrove species in Hainan, China, Sonneratia caseolaris was also planted in Guangdong Province for afforestation purposes. Both species have developed well in their new habitats, but their ecophysiological differences with the native mangrove species have not been studied. In this study, leaf gas exchange, water and nitrogen use efficiencies of two Sonneratia species were compared with those of selected native mangrove species (Avicennia marina, Aegiceras corniculatum, Kandelia candel, and Excoecaria agallocha) in Hainan and Shenzhen. The introduced S. apetala maintained lower carbon assimilation rate (A) and photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency (PNUE) than the indigenous S. caseolaris. In Shenzhen, the two introduced Sonneratia had comparable photosynthetic rates and water use efficiency (WUE) with the native mangrove species, except that PNUE in S. caseolaris was significantly higher than in the native mangrove species. The two Sonneratia species showed significant overlap in PNUE and long-term WUE. Photosynthetic parameters derived from leaf photosynthetic light-response curves and A-Ci curves also suggested lower carbon assimilation capacities for the introduced Sonneratia than for the native mangrove species in both study sites. The lower light compensation point (LCP) of two introduced Sonneratia in both study sites also indicated a better adaptation to a low light regime than the native mangrove species. The results of photosynthetic capacities indicated that the introduced mangrove species have little competitive advantage over local native mangrove species in their respective new habitats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)644-652
Number of pages9
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Sonneratia
  • alien species
  • competition
  • gas exchange
  • mangroves
  • δC value


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