A new paper by Simpson and others, published this week in Oecologia, details changes in mangrove cay size over time, as well as differences in forest structure and hydro-edaphic characteristics of paired cays with and without bird rookeries. Rookeries represent a potential source of nutrient inputs to mangrove systems that can serve as a proxy for increases in anthropogenic nutrient loading to coastal ecosystems. Cays with bird rookeries disappeared 13 times faster than those without birds, and these losses corresponded with lower soil organic matter, lower soil total nitrogen and carbon content, greater aboveground biomass, and greater leaf nitrogen concentration on rookery cays. Collectively, these results suggest that nutrient enrichment may reduce ecosystem stability and accelerate cay loss.
Cherry Lab News & Accomplishments
Highlighting events and recognizing achievements of current and former Cherry Lab members.