Mangrove Damage Caused by Hurricane Andrew on the Southwestern Coast of Florida

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We surveyed the mangrove forest at the mouth of Lostman's River, on the southwestern coast of Florida, about 2 months after Hurricane Andrew had passed. Damage to the mangrove forest there was severe: about 60% of the trees were either uprooted or broken, about 25% of the upright, unbroken trees were dead, and only about 14% of the upright, unbroken trees were well vegetated. Larger trees were more likely to be damaged, and damaged more severely, than smaller trees. Overall, Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove) fared marginally better than Avicennia germinans (black mangrove), and both of these species fared substantially better than Laguncularia racemosa (white mangrove). The forest structure at our site likely will be substantially altered as a result of Hurricane Andrew for some time to come.

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Bulletin of Marine Science, v. 59, issue 1, p. 1-8