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Red Mangroves in Texas

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I have read that article and actually worked for/with the author several years after he published the article. I have since been down to the area and found red mangrove naturally colonizing. I have even read that there are a few plants now in the Corpus area but have not found one yet. Incredibly there are even some buttonwood and white mangroves on Padre Island now. The buttonwood seems to be reproducing. The white mangrove does not.

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Hopefully we won't have another arctic blast anytime soon..do you have any pics of buttonwood/white mangrove in deep south Texas? Would love to see them..

:) Jonathan

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Jonathan,

Here are some photos I have taken over the years of the mangroves on South Padre Island and at the Boca Chica (mouth of the Rio Grande).

I first noticed red mangrove at boca chica around 2005. Sometime in 2008 I found out that both buttonwood and white mangrove had been reported on Padre Island just south of the Mansfield jetty in 1990 I believe. Apparently the buttonwood and white mangrove became established after a hurricane hit the area. Red mangrove may have arrived similarly, but it has been reported sporadicly since the 1800's.

Something interesting to note is that all of these plants survived the snowfall that occurred 2-3 years ago, even near the beach in South Texas. I did notice some burn on the plants during the spring following that event, but did not find any dead plants.

I have not been able to check how they faired this past winter, but I assume they survived with possibly some damage since reported lows at the beach did not go below 32F and that was just for 1 night.

Enjoy....

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Thanks for the pics...:drool::yay:

I found a few coconuts on South Padre which had moderate(younger palms) to no burn, one of them around 25 feet overall height was fruiting.

:) Jonathan

Edited by Xenon
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Finally made it back down to South Padre Island and Boca Chica while travelling to a PSST meeting in Brownsville. Below are pix I took of the recently arrived mangrove species from points farther south. Sorry about the quality, only had the cell phone with me.

The buttonwood stand is located the farthest from a waterbody and appears to have suffered the most from this past years cold winter. Last winter I located several seedling/sapling buttonwood. It appears as though this past winters full day of sub 32F temps was too much for all but the largest in the stand.

White mangrove did better. Being on a high tide pool back in the dunes probably helped a little. One interesting note is that white mangrove does appear to be reproducing. In the original discovery of the plant on SPI, only 4 plants were located. As you can see, there are a few more now. These are/were across the pool from the plants I located last year. There was more water last year and I was unable to get close enough to get a good luck. I assumed they were black mangroves.

The red mangrove I have been going to see every so often for about 5 years at the mouth of the Rio Grande showed damage to only the top 6-12 inches of the uppermost branches. Lower branches are already starting to form propagules.

Black mangroves (no pix) in the area showed no damage at all.

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Which species are you talking about when you say Red, Black and White mangroves?

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Finally made it back down to South Padre Island and Boca Chica while travelling to a PSST meeting in Brownsville. Below are pix I took of the recently arrived mangrove species from points farther south. Sorry about the quality, only had the cell phone with me.

The buttonwood stand is located the farthest from a waterbody and appears to have suffered the most from this past years cold winter. Last winter I located several seedling/sapling buttonwood. It appears as though this past winters full day of sub 32F temps was too much for all but the largest in the stand.

White mangrove did better. Being on a high tide pool back in the dunes probably helped a little. One interesting note is that white mangrove does appear to be reproducing. In the original discovery of the plant on SPI, only 4 plants were located. As you can see, there are a few more now. These are/were across the pool from the plants I located last year. There was more water last year and I was unable to get close enough to get a good luck. I assumed they were black mangroves.

The red mangrove I have been going to see every so often for about 5 years at the mouth of the Rio Grande showed damage to only the top 6-12 inches of the uppermost branches. Lower branches are already starting to form propagules.

Black mangroves (no pix) in the area showed no damage at all.

Thanks for the update and pictures Clay! Since the more tropical mangroves seem to take these kind of winters with only moderate damage, maybe we'll start seeing a few natural stands in Texas. Off topic, but did you see any of the coconut palms on South Padre? Richard Travis said they were pushing spears a few weeks ago...

:) Jonathan

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Jonathan,

I did not get a chance to look for coconut palms on SPI during my trip. It was a very quick trip. One day from Austin to Brownsville and back with a 30 mile (one way) jog up to the Mansfield jetty to see the buttonwood and white mangrove and a 20 mile (one way) jog to see the red mangrove at Boca Chica. All in all, I covered over 800 miles that day. Will not be doing that again for a while. I did see a coconut in Brownsville at the PSST meeting that had some damage but looked like it should recover.

Tropicbreeze - Sorry, I should have remembered that common names mess-up just about everyone.

Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle)

Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans)

White Mangroves (Laguncularia racemosa)

Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus)

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Locally we've got Avicennia integra, A. marina, and Rhizophora apiculata, R. lamarckii, R. stylosa. We don't get any Laguncularia nor Conocarpus.

I've had a fascination with mangroves since I was young. We're lucky here to have about 40 species of them, including the Nypa palm. It's a real "out-of-this-world" experience walking through a forest of Rhizophora stylosa, Spider Mangroves, because you have to walk on their stilt roots, above the mud and water (at low tide). It's just a whole new world.

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Locally we've got Avicennia integra, A. marina, and Rhizophora apiculata, R. lamarckii, R. stylosa. We don't get any Laguncularia nor Conocarpus.

I've had a fascination with mangroves since I was young. We're lucky here to have about 40 species of them, including the Nypa palm. It's a real "out-of-this-world" experience walking through a forest of Rhizophora stylosa, Spider Mangroves, because you have to walk on their stilt roots, above the mud and water (at low tide). It's just a whole new world.

I think the Red Mangroves in the U.S are different to ours.......ours such as R. stylosa (which is a dominant species in this area) probably wouldn't take the level of cold that the species over there experience.

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