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K.L. McKee

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The substrate beneath mangrove forests in the Pelican Cays complex is predominately peat composed mainly of mangrove roots. Leaves and wood account for less than 20% of the peat mass. At Cat Cay, the depth of the peat ranges from 0.2 m along the shoreline to 1.65 m in the island center, indicating that the island has expanded horizontally as well as vertically through below-ground, biogenic processes. Mangrove roots thus play a critical role in the soil formation, vertical accretion, and stability of these mangrove cays. The species composition of fossil roots changes markedly with depth: Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove) was the initial colonizer on a coral base, followed by Avicennia germinans (black mangrove),...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Atoll Research Bulletin
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Plant communities along tropical coastlines are often affected by natural and human disturbances, but little is known about factors influencing recovery. We focused on mangrove forests, which are among the most threatened ecosystems globally, to examine how facilitation by herbaceous vegetation might improve forest restoration after disturbance. We specifically investigated whether recovery of mangrove forests in harsh environments is accelerated by nurse plants and whether the beneficial effects are species-specific. Quantification of standardized effects allowed comparisons across performance parameters and over time for: (1) net effect of each herbaceous species on mangrove survival and growth, (2) effects of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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This study examined the potential for inter-specific differences in root aeration to determine wetland plant distribution in nature. We compared aeration in species that differ in the type of sediment and depth of water they colonize. Differences in root anatomy, structure and physiology were applied to aeration models that predicted the maximum possible aerobic lengths and development of anoxic zones in primary adventitious roots. Differences in anatomy and metabolism that provided higher axial fluxes of oxygen allowed deeper root growth in species that favour more reducing sediments and deeper water. Modelling identified factors that affected growth in anoxic soils through their effects on aeration. These included...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Annals of Botany
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1. Macrofaunal leaf consumption and degradation of leaves, woody twigs and roots were studied in mangrove island forests on a Belizean island. Factors influencing accumulation of organic matter deposited both above and below ground in this oligotrophic, autochothonous system were assessed. 2. Leaf degradation rates of Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove), Avicennia germinans (black mangrove) and Laguncularia racemosa (white mangrove) measured in mesh bags, were much faster in the lower than the upper intertidal zone. Mass loss was most rapid in A. germinans but zonal effects were much larger than species differences. 3. Exposure to invertebrates such as crabs and amphipods tripled overall rates of leaf litter breakdown....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Ecology
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The effects of phosphorus (P) and oxygen availability on growth, biomass allocation and nutrient use efficiency in Cladium jamaicense Crantz and Typha domingensis Pers. were studied in a growth facility equipped with steady-state hydroponic rhizotrons. The treatments included four P concentrations (10, 40, 80 and 500 ??g I-1) and two oxygen concentration (8.0 and <0.5 mg O2 I-1) in the culture solutions. In Cladium, no clear relationship was found between P availability and growth rate (19-37 mg g-1 d-1), the above to below ground biomass ratio (A/B) (mean = 4.6), or nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) (mean = 72 g dry weight g-1 N). However, the ratio between root supported tissue (leaves, rhizomes and ramets) and root...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Aquatic Botany
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