Editor: Niklaus Zimmermann
Hydroperiod is the main driver of the spatial pattern of dominance in mangrove communities
Version of Record online: 13 MAY 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Global Ecology and Biogeography
Volume 22, Issue 7, pages 806–817, July 2013
How to Cite
Crase, B., Liedloff, A., Vesk, P. A., Burgman, M. A. and Wintle, B. A. (2013), Hydroperiod is the main driver of the spatial pattern of dominance in mangrove communities. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 22: 806–817. doi: 10.1111/geb.12063
- Issue online: 13 JUN 2013
- Version of Record online: 13 MAY 2013
- Australian Government through the National Environment Research Program Environmental Decision Hub
- Australian Postgraduate Award
- ARC Future Fellowship
- ecological niche model;
- sea level rise;
- species distribution;
- species distribution model;
- species dominance;
- tidal regime;
- tropical forest
Many mangrove communities form bands parallel to the shoreline with each community dominated by a single species. However, the key determinants of mangrove species distribution across the intertidal zone are not well understood. We aimed to quantify the relationship between species' dominance and the hydroperiod (defined as the duration of inundation in a year), soil salinity and the salinity of inundating water for three dominant species, Sonneratia alba, Rhizophora stylosa and Ceriops tagal.
An extensive (20,000 ha), largely intact mangrove forest in northern Australia, of some note as mangrove forests are threatened globally.
We related species dominance to the explanatory variables by applying two statistical modelling approaches: generalized linear models (GLMs), where a set of competing models were evaluated; and boosted regression tree models (BRTs), an approach that automatically captures interactions and nonlinear relationships between variables.
Both GLM and BRT models achieved strong predictive performance for all species based on cross-validation, with receiver operating characteristics above 0.85 for all species, and 88% of deviance explained for S. alba, 42% for R. stylosa and 35% for C. tagal. All models indicated that the hydroperiod was the key variable influencing distribution, followed by soil salinity. The salinity of inundating water was the least informative variable in the models. Ecological space, determined by gradients in hydroperiod and soil salinity, was partitioned between the three species with little overlap.
As anticipated changes in sea level will alter the hydroperiod, our findings are critical for global forecasting of future distributions of mangrove communities, and for the design of mitigation and adaptation measures.