Colonisation and Succession in a mangrove Swamp

Colonisation
• Occurs when the pioneer species occupy an area or newly formed land previously unoccupied by living organisms. • They have specialised characteristics to adapt to the area.

Succesion
• Continual series of changes in the structure and species composition of a community from initial colonisation of an area by pioneer species until a stable complex community is reached. • Can be devided into 2
– Primary succession – Secondary succession

Primary succession
• Occurs when pioneer species occupy an area previously unoccupied by living organisms such as a new land by deposition of mud.

Secondary succession
• Occurs when an existing biotic community is disrupted and a new community develops at the area. • The disruption may cause by flooding, human activities. • Occurs more rapidly than primary succesion. May take place if the soil is already present and there are surviving species.

What is mangrove?
• Tropical tree or shrub growing in shoremud with many tangled roots above ground (Pocket Oxford Dictionary) • Mangrove plants are found along the muddy coastal areas and estuaries in tropical and subtropical regions. • why there?
– The regions are sheltered from direct strong winds, strong waves and water current.

• Silt and clay particles carried by river water will be deposited as mud at the river mouth. • When mud bank sufficiently thick and the newly formed land is exposed to the air at low tide, the COLONISATION by pioneer species begins. • The first pioneer plant to grow on soft exposed saline mud bank along the coastal facing the sea are halophythes ( Avicennia spp) • In the river estuaries, the dominant pioneer species is Sonneratia spp

One characteristics helping the development of colonisation
• The Avicennia spp have roots that grows vertically upwards (pneumatophores). • The roots contain aerenchyma tissue = facilitate oxygen transport to parts submerged in water. • the roots trap silt particles, fallen leaves and tree branches.

• As the ground level is raised, the area is covered less frequently by high tides. • Provided shade to soil, more nutrients around the area. • Pioneer species gradually disappears and replaced by the successors.

Colonisation around mangrove area

White mangrove, pokok api-api = Avicennia sp. Family/Genus: Avicenniaceae - Avicennia

Note the presence of Salt Gland on the petiole of the Avicennia sp.

• Family/Genus: Sonneratiaceae Sonneratia • Common Names pedada, red-brown mangrove, perepat, perepat laut,

The red mangrove is usually found along the shore. The water around the base of the trees is often stained brown, a side effect of the tannin contained in the green, waxy leaves which fall into the water gradually throughout the year.

• Current Name: Bruguiera sp • Family/Genus: Rhizoporaceae – Bruguiera • Common Names black mangrove, bakau, prasak, byu, pototan, mangoro, tumu, lenggadai, berus, tanjang, bakauan, bakau putih.

• Tree up to 20 m tall with buttresses and kneed pneumatophores; bark grey, smooth; leaves opposite, blades light green, thin, elliptic; stipules pale yellow or greenish.

Types of mangrove trees’ roots

Questions
• Name 2 plants act as pioneer plants? • What is the use of pnuemataphor?

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