Are mangroves unique? A wood anatomical comparison with terrestrial relatives.

  • Joelle DE WEERDT ((PhD) Student)
  • Nico Koedam (Promotor)
  • Nele Schmitz (Co-promotor)
  • Elisabeth Robert (Co-promotor)
  • Hans Beeckman (Advisor)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Mangrove trees grow in an extreme setting since they are subjected to an unusual combination of environmental conditions: salty soil water, periodic inundation, high temperatures and above all an astonishing dynamism. High salt concentrations can change instantly, after a rain spell, into fresh water conditions and a flooding event can be followed by a period of several weeks of drought. In addition, mangrove trees belong to diverse phylogenetic groups and did thus not follow the same evolutionary path. How did the different mangrove species adapt their hydraulic structure to survive and even flourish in this risky environment for the water transport?

The aim of this study is to clarify which anatomical characteristics of the water transport system can be considered as specific mangrove-adaptations and which as heritage.
Date of Award2010
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorNico Koedam (Promotor), Nele Schmitz (Co-promotor), Elisabeth Robert (Co-promotor) & Hans Beeckman (Advisor)


  • mangrove
  • wood anatomy
  • phylogeny
  • terrestrial relatives
  • water transport

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