Mangrove ecosystem dynamics and elemental cycling at Twin Cays, Belize, during the Holocene
Article first published online: 27 SEP 2004
Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Quaternary Science
Special Issue: Late Quaternary ecosystem dynamics and carbon cycling in the tropics
Volume 19, Issue 7, pages 703–711, October 2004
How to Cite
Wooller, M. J., Behling, H., Smallwood, B. J. and Fogel, M. (2004), Mangrove ecosystem dynamics and elemental cycling at Twin Cays, Belize, during the Holocene. J. Quaternary Sci., 19: 703–711. doi: 10.1002/jqs.877
- Issue published online: 27 SEP 2004
- Article first published online: 27 SEP 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 JUN 2004
- Manuscript Revised: 28 MAY 2004
- Manuscript Received: 20 DEC 2003
Existing at the transition between the terrestrial environment and hydrosphere, mangroves are sensitive to environmental change (e.g. sea-level rise). We present pollen and stable isotope data from a core (TCC1) of continuous (10 m) mangrove peat from Twin Cays, ∼12 km off of the coast of Belize, Central America. Radiocarbon dates on fragments of mangrove leaves preserved in TCC1 show that the core provides an 8600 14C year record of mangrove ecosystem changes. Variation in the stable carbon and nitrogen isotope composition (δ13C = ∼−30 to −25‰; δ15N = ∼−6 to 2‰) of mangrove leaves imply that the stand structure and nutrient status of the mangroves at the site have changed during the Holocene. Pollen data from the same core show that the floral composition of the site has changed at points during the Holocene, most notably a brief (∼240 years) switch at ∼3860 14C yr BP to dominance by a species of Myrsine (not currently present at the site). Our results are consistent with significant environmental changes (either marked disturbance from hurricanes or fluctuations in sea-level) through the Holocene. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.