Fine root production in a chronosequence of mature reforested mangroves

Marie Arnaud, Paul J Morris, Andy J Baird, Huyen Dang, Tai Tue Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Downloads (Pure)


Mangroves are among the world's most carbon-dense ecosystems, but have suffered extensive deforestation, prompting reforestation projects. The effects of mangrove reforestation on belowground carbon dynamics are poorly understood. In particular, we do not know how fine root production develops following mangrove reforestation, despite fine root production being a major carbon sink and an important control of mangrove soil accretion. Using minirhizotrons, we investigated fine root production and its depth variation along a chronosequence of mature Vietnamese mangroves. Our results showed that fine root production decreases strongly with stand age in the uppermost 32 cm of our soil profiles. In younger mangrove stands, fine root production declines with depth, possibly due to a vertical gradient in soil nutrient availability; while root production in the oldest stand is low at all depths and exhibits no clear vertical pattern. A major fraction of fine root production occurs deeper than 30 cm, depths that are commonly omitted from calculations of mangrove carbon budgets. Younger mangroves may accrue shallow soil organic matter faster than older mangroves. Therefore, root productivity and forest stand age should be accounted for when forecasting mangrove carbon budgets and resistance to sea-level rise.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Phytologist
Early online date21 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 May 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Authors New Phytologist ©2021 New Phytologist Foundation.


Dive into the research topics of 'Fine root production in a chronosequence of mature reforested mangroves'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this