Retrospective estimates of net leaf production in Kandelia candel mangrove forests

S. C. Coulter*, C. M. Duarte, M. S. Tuan, N. H. Tri, H. T. Ha, L. H. Giang, P. N. Hong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A new, inexpensive, and time-saving method for the estimation of the net production of leaves and reproductive structures of mangroves was applied to 2 Vietnamese stands of Kandelia candel. The method combines the allometric relationship between the number of meristems in trees and their diameter with knowledge of the number of leaf pairs and reproductive structures each meristem develops annually to calculate the net leaf and inflorescence production of each tree in the stand. Each apical meristem of K. candel produced about 6 leaf pairs and 1.3 to 1.9 inflorescences annually, with the number of meristems in each tree increasing to the square of their girth. The size distribution of K. candel was highly skewed at all sites, with an exponential decline in the number of plants as the size increased. The net leaf production (dry wt), calculated by scaling the production per meristem to that of individual trees and then to the entire stand, ranged from 176.5 to 1338.7 g m-2 yr-1 among stands, with an estimated total inflorescence production ranging from 0.91 to 101 g m-2 yr-1. The largest individuals, comprising 10% of the population, contributed the majority of the stand production. The approach demonstrated overcomes serious deficiencies in the traditional litter-fall method, particularly when applied to developing mangrove stands, and should be applicable to other mangrove species as long as they display clear nodes, leaf, flower and fruit scars, as do other members of the Rhizophoraceae family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-124
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Oct 18 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Kandelia candel
  • Litterfall
  • Mangrove
  • Primary production
  • Rhizophoraceae
  • Vietnam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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