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Black mangrove is useful for shoreline stabilization in Texas and Mexico but there is insufficient information regarding propagule survivorship and seedling growth. We compared survivorship and growth of three develop-mental groups of black mangrove seedlings planted on three dredge spoil islands in the Lower Laguna Madre of Texas, to better understand optimum planting strategy. Each spoil island had 100 seedlings without emergent radicles, 100 seedlings with emergent radicles, and 75 head-started seedlings. Survivorship of seedlings with and with-out emergent radicles was low, (0-16%). Survivorship of head-started seedlings was higher, (60 – 62.7%). Varia-tion in survivorship among developmental categories was significant but variation among islands was not. The 16 surviving seedlings with emergent radicles censused 346 days after planting were similar in mean height (32.9 cm) and mean number of pairs of leaves (13.2) to head-started seedlings grown for 376 days (105 days in nursery, 271 days on Island 1). Growth rates for height ranged from 0.041 cm/day to 0.058 cm/day. Growth in mean pairs of leaves ranged from 0.042 pairs/day to 0.051 pairs/day. Comparison of the person-days required to have 300 seed-lings alive one year after field planting shows that head-starting is clearly the preferable planting strategy.

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Subtropical Agriculture and Environments



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