The impact of a locust plague on mangroves of the arid Western Australia coast

Ruth Reef, Marilyn C. Ball, Catherine E. Lovelock

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Mangroves generally grow in nutrient-poor environments and maintain high levels of productivity through unique adaptations for nutrient conservation (Reef et al. 2010). One such adaptation in mangroves is highly efficient resorption of limiting nutrients from senescing leaves prior to abscission (Feller et al. 2003). Thus processes that lead to loss of foliage prior to senescence and nutrient resorption (e.g. storms and herbivory) can be detrimental to tree growth and productivity (Bryant et al. 1983, May & Killingbeck 1992). Furthermore, decomposition of fallen leaves by soil microbial communities (Alongi 1994, Holguin et al. 2001) and crabs (Nagelkerken et al. 2008) is another important process contributing to the recycling of nutrients that are in short supply. Therefore, processes that lead to a substantial reduction in litterfall can have a strong negative effect on nutrient cycling and forest productivity. Mangroves have long been recognized as an important source of organic carbon (both particulate and dissolved) for the surrounding tropical coastal ecosystems (Bouillon et al. 2008, Kristensen et al. 2008). Thus, processes affecting litterfall in mangroves can affect the surrounding marine food webs. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-311
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Tropical Ecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Austracris guttulosa
  • Avicennia marina
  • herbivory
  • insect-plant relations
  • nutrients
  • Orthoptera
  • salinity
  • tropics
  • wetlands

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