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Diversity 2018, 10(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/d10010008

Better Resilient than Resistant—Regeneration Dynamics of Storm-Disturbed Mangrove Forests on the Bay Island of Guanaja (Honduras) during the First Two Decades after Hurricane Mitch (October 1998)

Physical Geography, University of Passau, Innstraße 40, D-94032 Passau, Germany
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mangrove Ecology and Conservation)
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Abstract

Located at the interface of land and sea, Caribbean mangroves frequently experience severe disturbances by hurricanes, but in most cases storm-impacted mangrove forests are able to regenerate. How exactly regeneration proceeds, however, is still a matter of debate: does—due to the specific site conditions—regeneration follows a true auto-succession with exactly the same set of species driving regeneration that was present prior to the disturbance, or do different trajectories of regeneration exist? Considering the fundamental ecosystem services mangroves provide, a better understanding of their recovery is crucial. The Honduran island of Guanaja offers ideal settings for the study of regeneration dynamics of storm-impacted mangrove forests. The island was hit in October 1998 by Hurricane Mitch, one of the most intense Atlantic storms of the past century. Immediately after the storm, 97% of the mangroves were classified as dead. In 2005, long-term monitoring on the regeneration dynamics of the mangroves of the island was initiated, employing permanent line-transects at six different mangrove localities all around the island, which have been revisited in 2009 and 1016. Due to the pronounced topography of the island, different successional pathways emerge depending on the severity of the previous disturbance. View Full-Text
Keywords: Guanaja; mangrove regeneration; hurricane disturbance; successional pathways Guanaja; mangrove regeneration; hurricane disturbance; successional pathways
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Fickert, T. Better Resilient than Resistant—Regeneration Dynamics of Storm-Disturbed Mangrove Forests on the Bay Island of Guanaja (Honduras) during the First Two Decades after Hurricane Mitch (October 1998). Diversity 2018, 10, 8.

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