The effect of intentional summer flooding for mosquito control on the nitrogen dynamics of impounded Avicennia germinans mangrove forests

H. J. Laanbroek* (Corresponding author), M. C. Rains, J. T. A. Verhoeven, D. F. Whigham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Coastal wetlands such as mangrove forests are breeding grounds for nuisance-causing insects. Rotational Impoundment Management (RIM) for mosquito control involves annual summer inundation of impounded mangrove forests with estuarine water during the summer half year. However, in addition to controlling mosquitos, RIM may change biogeochemical pathways. This study set out to investigate how RIM quantitatively affects physicochemical soil characteristics and potential nitrifying and denitrifying activities (PNA and PDA), which are key in the global nitrogen cycle. Before and after the implementation of RIM, soil samples were collected annually in habitats differing in size and abundance of black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) in an impoundment with RIM and in an adjacent impoundment with a more open connection to the lagoon. Compared to the non-managed impoundment, soil moisture content, total nitrogen and PDA increased, while salinity decreased after the start of annual summer flooding, but only in the dwarf habitat. In the sparse and dense habitats, total nitrogen and PDA increased independently of summer flooding, whereas soil moisture content and salinity were not affected by RIM. Labile organic nitrogen increased only in the RIM impoundment, irrespective of the habitat type. PNA was generally not affected with time, except in the dwarf habitat in the absence of intentional summer flooding where it increased. Changes in the non-managed impoundment adjacent to the RIM impoundment demonstrate the importance of groundwater exchange in linked ecosystems. The consequences of interventions in the management of mangrove impoundments and adjacent forests for the nitrogen budget are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2165
JournalScientific Reports
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2024

Research theme

  • Sustainable water and land use

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