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Keywords:

  • Aegiceras corniculatum;
  • Avicennia marina;
  • halophyte;
  • mangrove;
  • respiration;
  • salinity;
  • salt tolerance;
  • seedling growth

Growth and dark respiration rates were measured in leaves and roots of seedlings of Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh, (grey mangrove), and Aegiceras corniculatum (L.) Blanco (river mangrove). Plants were grown in a soil mixture at ambient temperatures and watered with 0.25 and 100% sea-water. Oxygen uptake was measured in excised root and leaf samples. In both species growth was maximal in 25% sea-water, and root respiration was lowest in 100% sea-water. Differences were found between the two species in the responses of leaf respiration to salinity. In A. corniculatum leaf respiration was raised in both 25 and 100% sea-water, while in A. marina only leaves in 100% sea-water showed higher rates of respiration. These results are consistent with the view that A. marina is the more salt-tolerant of the two species. In A. corniculatum the respiration rates of the hypocotyl were also measured, and were much higher in 100% sea-water than in the other two treatments. The results suggest that at high salinities there is a high metabolic cost in the shoots of both species, and that at such salinities rates of root respiration may be limited by the supply of substrate from the shoots.