Merickel, J. A. Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, merickel@mindspring.com
Wiebe, W. A. Department of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia, wjwiebe@uga.cc.uga.edu

 
EFFECTS OF HURRICANE ANDREW ON MANGROVE SEDIMENT NUTRIENT CONCENTRATIONS IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA, USA
 
On August 24, 1992 Hurricane Andrew severely impacted the mangrove forests of southwest Florida. Following the hurricane we established 15 forest sites according to high, middle and low salinity (2-35 ppt), and 0 to 99% tree mortality, along four river systems. We sampled sediment porewater inorganic nutrients (nitrate + nitrite, ammonium, phosphorus, silicate) over 3 years at 7 periods. We also sampled particulate carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in sediments at 16 sites over 2 periods. Inorganic nutrient results showed high variability between sites and sampling periods. This made it difficult to establish trends between nutrient concentrations, sampling periods, damage, and forest location. Ammonium was the only nutrient which positively correlated with increased hurricane damage. Particulate carbon and nitrogen were significantly higher at upstream sites. There were no significant differences between particulate nutrients and sampling period. The lack of significant differences between nutrients, damage, and location suggests that these forests are highly resistant to nutrient level fluctuations, even in the occurrence of high mangrove tree mortality and large spatial differences. This suggests that mangrove forest sediments in this study may act in retaining and storing nutrients, regardless of forest location and degree of hurricane damage.
 
Day: Friday, Feb. 5
Time: 12:15 - 12:30pm
Location: Eldorado Hotel
 
Code: CS57FR1215E