Bakkar, Tarek, Zimmer, Martin, Mancera, José Ernesto and Helfer, Veronique (2019) Mangroves in a Network of Connected Ecosystems: Sources and Sinks of Organic Matter. [Talk] In: MMM5. , 01.07.-05.07.2019, Singapore .

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Coastal ecosystems cannot be considered isolated but are embedded in a network of interacting marine and terrestrial ecosystems that exchange organisms and matter. It has been discussed for decades whether mangroves are sources or sinks of nutrients and organic matter: the direction of fluxes obviously depends on local and regional circumstances, such as hydrodynamics and coastal currents. Hence, aiming for large-scale generalizing models of matter fluxes into, and out of, mangroves warrants detailed case-studies under different environmental conditions. For a small Caribbean Island, San Andrés (Colombia), that is hit by strong North-easterly winds and currents throughout the year, we hypothesized that a coral reef in front of the East coast will dampen the oceanic inflow of water bodies and make the export of organic matter from the mangroves behind the reef, the Old Point National Park, into the coastal water possible. Using a combination of stable isotope-analysis, environmental metabolomic fingerprinting, and metabarcoding of environmental DNA, we detected biomarkers of organic matter from various sources in sediments between mangroves and reef. Together, our findings suggest that the mangroves of Old Point are fuelled by macroalgae and seagrass but export little material into the reef. Hence, managing these mangroves will require simultaneously managing the reef and seagrass beds in front of the coastline, particularly because there are no rivers on the island that could import terrigenous material into the mangrove. On the other hand, as the Old Point mangroves probably retain an essential percentage of the organic matter and nutrients that enter the mangrove, their role in maintaining the coastal waters adjacent to the reef oligotrophic should not be neglected in reef management. We believe that trans-boundary studies like this one pledge for a more integrative approach in coastal management, planning for protected area networks rather than isolated protected areas.

Document Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Talk)
Research affiliation: Ecology > Mangrove Ecology
Affiliations > Not ZMT
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2019 10:20
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 12:59

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