Diversity And Conservation Status Of Mangrove Communities In Two Areas of Mesocaribea Biogeographic Region
The study of the mangrove communities (Avicennia germinans, Conocarpus erectus, Laguncularia racemosa and Rhyzophora mangle) in Central America reveals a total diversity of 121 species included in seven plant communities, of which 15 are characteristic of mangroves and 31 of flooded areas with less pronounced salinity, while 75 are invasive species belonging to neighbouring communities. Frequent fires in the dry forest have caused intense erosion, leading to the silting of the lake basin. As a result, the first belt of Rhizophora vegetation is extremely rare. In contrast, there is a predominance of Laguncularia and Conocarpus mangrove plants, in addition to a belt of Phragmito-Magnocaricetea with a high incidence of Phragmites australis, which acts as an indicator of sediment silting due to its shallowness. The ordination analysis clearly separates the six plant communities (Ma-Rh, Rh-La, St-La, Lo-Co, Lo-La, Cr-Co) from the forests of the Gran Estero in the Dominican Republic (Ro-Pt). Some of the main results are that the highest Shannon-c values (alpha diversity) correspond to Rh-La, and the lowest to Ro-Pt, whereas the beta diversity is higher in Ro-Pt and null in Ma-Rh, a community in which its alpha diversity is the same as its total diversity. The degree of conservation of each of these communities is stable, increasing or decreasing depending on the relation between the number of characteristic, invasive and transitional species. The least well-conserved communities are those in which all or most of the species are characteristic.
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