Resource Details

Ecology of mangrove growth and recovery in the Lesser Antilles: State of knowledge and basis for restoration projects

Literature: Journal Articles

Imbert, D., Rousteau, A. & Scherrer, P. 2000, "Ecology of mangrove growth and recovery in the Lesser Antilles: State of knowledge and basis for restoration projects", Restoration Ecology, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 230-236.


  • Laboratoire de Biologie Végétale, Faculté des Sciences, 97159, Pointe-à-Pitre cedex, Guadeloupe, France
  • CERT, B. P. 27, 76700 Harfleur, France.


Restoration Ecology

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Species Info

  • Rhizophora mangle
  • Lagunicularia racemosa
  • Conocarpus erectus
  • Avicennia germinans
  • Avicennia schaueriana


  • This article reviews the available information pertaining to mangrove ecology and restoration in the Lesser Antilles.
  • On the islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, mangrove species form monospecific vegetation belts parallel to the shore.
  • They follow an ecological gradient based on salinity and drainage, with the most halophylic being the Avicennia species followed by Rhizophora mangle and Conocarpus erectus, then Laguncularia racemosa with a lower salinity tolerance.
  • In 1986 an experimental oil spill was created to study the ability of mangroves to regrow on polluted soil.
  • Mortality increased by treatment ranching from the control with 18% mortality to the experimental plots of 5, 20, and 301 liters per square meter with 48%, 74%, and 89% mortality respectively.
  • By studying the effect of hurricane Hugo on mangroves in Guadeloupe, the authors suggest that Rhizophora mangle, which had not recovered from damage 10 years later, is not adapted to rapid recolonization.
  • Because it is disseminated in open water, the fringe arias had colonization (around 25 seedlings per square meter) while the interior had less regeneration (around 10 seedlings per square meter).
  • Finally, the authors provide recommendations for mangrove restoration including: monitoring for natural regeneration processes before planting trees; assessing the environmental variables to guide species selection (for example, Rhizophora is best along low sheltered shores and river banks); using mature propagules and seeds by burying them; consider species requirements for light when deciding planting density; and other recommendations.
  • To avoid drought stress, the authors recommend planting at the onset of the rainy season, except for poorly sheltered shores which should occur in February or March when the sea level is lowest.

Geographical Region

  • Caribbean Islands
  • Ecosystems

  • Mangrove
  • Country

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