Dataset: Mangrove forest productivity in northern Australia and Papua New Guinea


Estimates of potential net primary production were made in the mangroves forests of nine Cape York rivers: Jardine River (1 site); Escape River (3 sites); Harmer Creek (1 site); Olive River (2 sites), Pascoe River (1 site); Nesbit River (1 site); Rocky River (3 sites); Annan River (2 sites) and Annie River (3 sites). Two sites in northwestern Australia (Derby Wharf and Hunter River) and six sites in the delta of the Purari River, Papua New Guinea were also sampled. The sites chosen covered a range of environments from river mouth to upstream tidal limits, had a well developed canopy and usually had an area of at least 50x50m of continuous forest.

Soil sampling was carried out at the Olive River, Claudie River, Normanby River, Lockhart River, McIvor River and Endeavour River.

At each site, usually >100 light attenuation readings were made at 1m intervals on random walks through the forest. Readings were also taken above the canopy. These measurements enabled the calculation of an average canopy chlorophyll content, which was then converted to a productivity estimate.

At sites where soil was sampled, a single core was taken to a depth of 50cm. Five subsamples were taken at 10cm intervals for redox potential measurements in the field and later nutrient analysis (extractable phosphate and extractable ammonium). The water which filled the holes after core extractions was sampled and soil water salinity measured with a portable conductivity meter.

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