Project abstract: Observational study of root assemblage interactions

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Kayla Kraker and Nicole Laible

Abstract:

An
observational study of root assemblage interactions was conducted in
the
Rhizophora
mangle
forests of
Discovery Bay Marine Lab, Jamaica. Symbiotic relationships in
accordance to varying root structures, were monitored to denote the
changes in species interactions. Two sites were chosen within the
lagoon area of the property, where there were regions that had
increased groundwater seepage. This allowed for physical parameters
to be documented at each site. The sites were labeled according to
salinity level, the Groundwater Input site and the Non-Groundwater
Input site, where each site had two sections to study with different
light penetration levels. Four roots were chosen at random per
section. Root measurements were done for root circumference, length,
and distance between each tagged root. Observations were done for ten
minutes daily during high tide to note the percentage algae cover,
species richness, species diversity, and species interactions.
Physical parameters were measured for the last four days of the
experiment at each site using the YSI. Several equations were used
to determine results: the Bran-Branquet method to find the percentage
algae cover on attached roots versus suspended roots, the Nearest
Neighbor method measuing the root distribution, which was
characterized by propagule distribution. Lastly, Simpsons Diversity
Index to find the species diversity per section at each root.
Overall, results showed that different mutualistic relationships
occur between species and varying root assemblages. In the different
sites, there was a difference in species richness, diversity, and
percentage algae cover for each root.

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