Coming of age - the mangrove propagule, parental investment and the dual functionality towards autonomy and establishment

Nathalie Tonné, Tom Van Der Stocken, Anne Van Zon, Dennis De Ryck, Magdalene Ngeve, Fleur Van Nedervelde, Harry Olde Venterink, Farid Dahdouh-Guebas, Ludwig Triest, Nico Koedam

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished abstract


Mangrove tree species are few in number as compared to terrestrial species richness at a same latitude of any mangrove assemblage. Many of them show a degree of convergence in dispersal units: well developed and large structures often developed from the embryo through vivipary or cryptovivipary. Rhizophoraceae comprise some of the globally most important mangrove elements (genera and species), both for biogeographical range, reflecting ease of
dispersal, and local ecological dominance, reflecting the degree of adaptation to the demanding intertidal environment. Both the range and the ecological success in part relate to propagule properties. The numerous and/or large propagules constitute a major parental investment, with a dual functionality: local recruitment and long distance dispersal.
In this contribution we expand on the gradual autonomy of the rhizophoracean mangrove propagule on the parental tree, the challenges when it is abscised and enters the dynamic mangrove biotope and its features and responses for long term dispersal. We indicate a number of challenges young detached propagules face. For this we bring together various elements of insight gathered in our research group on water relations, the dispersal physiology and mechanics, the nutrient relations, the genetics, and herbivore impacts, but we also establish major knowledge gaps in our understanding of the crucial life stage between abscission and successful establishment of the rhizophoracean propagule.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2017
EventEuropean conference of Tropical Ecology: soctropecol - Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 6 Feb 201710 Feb 2017


ConferenceEuropean conference of Tropical Ecology
Abbreviated titlegtoe
Internet address


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