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ScienceAsia 37 (2011): 1-5 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2011.37.001

Distribution of fine-root necromass in a secondary mangrove forest in Trat province, Eastern Thailand

Buntoon Chalermchatwilai, Sasitorn Poungparn*, Pipat Patanaponpaiboon

ABSTRACT:     The aim of this study was to determine the amount of fine-root necromass among the three different principal vegetation zones (Avicennia-Sonneratia, Rhizophora, and Xylocarpus) in a secondary mangrove forest in eastern Thailand. The coring method was applied for the estimation of the fine-root necromass. The results revealed a high proportion of fine- to total root-necromass (66.3%, 50.2% and 67.5% in the Avicennia-Sonneratia, Rhizophora, and Xylocarpus zones, respectively), and a very high proportion of dead to total fine root mass (91.8%, 96.6%, and 98.5%, respectively). A statistically insignificant but numerical difference was found in the vertical distribution of the fine-root necromass in the three soil depths examined (0–10, 10–20, and 20–30 cm deep from the surface) in all three zones. However, the zonal distribution of the fine-root necromass was significantly different among the zones and accumulated in the order of the Xylocarpus > Rhizophora > Avicennia-Sonneratia zones with an average of 9.94±2.49, 21.1±2.7, and 90.0±14.3 t ha−130 cm−1, respectively. These are discussed in relation to the CO2 efflux via soil respiration formerly measured in the same study site. The ratio between dead and live fine-root mass showed a tendency to increase with increasing distance from the river edge, and this may relate to the rising elevation from the mangrove forest towards a more terrestrial habitat.

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Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand

* Corresponding author, E-mail: sasitorn.p@chula.ac.th

Received 13 Dec 2009, Accepted 1 Mar 2011