A comparison of forest structural methods of semiarid mangrove species using a field-based approach

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Francisco Flores-de-Santiago
Francisco Flores-Verdugo


The data obtained from field-based forest inventories, mainly basal area and stem density, are relevant for the analysis of aboveground biomass and forest fragmentation. Due to its persistently flooded ground, fieldwork in mangrove forests is time-consuming and complicated. Since mangroves are sensitive to the effects of climate change, selecting a reliable field method is of utmost importance. To this end, we analyzed 4 mangrove classes: Rhizophora mangle (RM), Laguncularia racemosa (LR), Avicennia germinans (AG), and AG shrub. We georeferenced and counted all mangrove stems within four 0.04 ha (20 × 20 m square). We analyzed data from 3 circular area plots and the plotless point-centered quarter method (PCQM) based on the original square plots. Depending on the mangrove class, PCQM overestimated basal area by up to 34% and stem density by 21%. The 3 circular plot surveys underestimated basal area from –1% to –29% and stem density from –3 to –25%. Based on the results, we suggest using a circular plot of 0.04 ha (r = 11.28 m) in less dense forests (RM and AG) and a circular plot of 0.015 ha (r = 6.9 m) with forest densities greater than 3,500 stems/ha (LR and AG shrub). The advantages of using the circular plot approach over PCQM are that mangrove inventories can be quantified quickly and do not require a minimum number of sampling points.


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Flores-de-Santiago, F., & Flores-Verdugo, F. (2024). A comparison of forest structural methods of semiarid mangrove species using a field-based approach. Ciencias Marinas, 50. https://doi.org/10.7773/cm.y2024.3432
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