Barnacle fouling impedes the gaseous exchange and food production of the mangroves Kandelia obovata, a dominant mangrove species in Hong Kong and Taiwan

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • S. W. Li
  • Benny K. K. Chan
  • Nora F. Y. Tam

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-203
Journal / PublicationHydrobiologia
Volume618
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009

Abstract

Barnacle fouling has shown to impede gas exchange ability of mangroves. Fouled mangrove plants may therefore obtain less carbon dioxide and water for photosynthesis, resulting in reduced food and chloroplasts production, but such hypothesis remains untested. The objective of the present study compared the stomata density (essential for obtaining carbon dioxide and water molecules) and leaf chlorophyll concentration (essential for photosynthesis) of fouled and non-fouled (control) of seedlings, juveniles and adults of the mangroves Kandelia obovata, in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The seedlings and juveniles of the dominant mangrove plant species, Kandelia obovata, in Hong Kong and Taiwan had a higher density of stomata but a lower chlorophyll concentration in the leaves, when the trunks and twigs were fouled by the barnacle Fistulobalanus albicostatus. Fouled K. obovata appears to develop more stomata in the leaves to compensate the blocking effect of the lenticel from barnacle fouling. As fouling impacts the gaseous exchange ability of mangroves, fouled plants could obtain less carbon dioxide and water for photosynthesis, resulting in reduced food and chloroplasts production. Fouled adult plants, however, had variable responses in leaf chlorophyll concentrations among the study sites, suggesting adults were more tolerant of barnacle fouling. The present study reveals seedling and juvenile mangrove plants are very susceptible to barnacle fouling, which impedes the gaseous exchange mechanism and food production, which can subsequently result in reduced growth, fitness and survival. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Research Area(s)

  • Barnacles, Chlorophyll concentration, Mangrove, Stomata density

Citation Format(s)