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  1. Ball, Marilyn (Ed.)
    Abstract We investigated how mangrove-island micro-elevation (i.e., habitat: center vs edge) affects tree physiology in a scrub mangrove forest of the southeastern Everglades. We measured leaf gas exchange rates of scrub Rhizophora mangle L. trees monthly during 2019, hypothesizing that CO2 assimilation (Anet) and stomatal conductance (gsw) would decline with increasing water levels and salinity, expecting more considerable differences at mangrove-island edges than centers, where physiological stress is greatest. Water levels varied between 0 and 60 cm from the soil surface, rising during the wet season (May–October) relative to the dry season (November–April). Porewater salinity ranged from 15 to 30 p.p.t., being higher at mangrove-island edges than centers. Anet maximized at 15.1 μmol m−2 s−1, and gsw was typically <0.2 mol m−2 s−1, both of which were greater in the dry than the wet season and greater at island centers than edges, with seasonal variability being roughly equal to variation between habitats. After accounting for season and habitat, water level positively affected Anet in both seasons but did not affect gsw. Our findings suggest that inundation stress (i.e., water level) is the primary driver of variation in leaf gas exchange rates of scrub mangroves in the Florida Everglades, while also constraining Anet more than gsw. The interaction between inundation stress due to permanent flooding and habitat varies with season as physiological stress is alleviated at higher-elevation mangrove-island center habitats during the dry season. Freshwater inflows during the wet season increase water levels and inundation stress at higher-elevation mangrove-island centers, but also potentially alleviate salt and sulfide stress in soils. Thus, habitat heterogeneity leads to differences in nutrient and water acquisition and use between trees growing in island centers versus edges, creating distinct physiological controls on photosynthesis, which likely affect carbon flux dynamics of scrub mangroves in the Everglades. 
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  2. Ball, Marilyn (Ed.)
    Abstract Temperature and salinity are important regulators of mangrove range limits and productivity, but the physiological responses of mangroves to the interactive effects of temperature and salinity remain uncertain. We tested the hypothesis that salinity alters photosynthetic responses to seasonal changes in temperature and vapor pressure deficit (D), as well as thermal acclimation _of leaf respiration in black mangrove (Avicennia germinans). To test this hypothesis, we grew seedlings of A. germinans in an outdoor experiment for ~ 12 months under four treatments spanning 0 to 55 ppt porewater salinity. We repeatedly measured seedling growth and in situ rates of leaf net photosynthesis (Asat) and stomatal conductance to water vapor (gs) at prevailing leaf temperatures, along with estimated rates of Rubisco carboxylation (Vcmax) and electron transport for RuBP regeneration (Jmax), and measured rates of leaf respiration at 25 °C (Rarea25). We developed empirical models describing the seasonal response of leaf gas exchange and photosynthetic capacity to leaf temperature and D, and the response of Rarea25 to changes in mean daily air temperature. We tested the effect of salinity on model parameters. Over time, salinity had weak or inconsistent effects on Asat, gs and Rarea25. Salinity also had little effect on the biochemical parameters of photosynthesis (Vcmax, Jmax) and individual measurements of Asat, gs, Vcmax and Jmax showed a similar response to seasonal changes in temperature and D across all salinity treatments. Individual measurements of Rarea25 showed a similar inverse relationship with mean daily air temperature across all salinity treatments. We conclude that photosynthetic responses to seasonal changes in temperature and D, as well as seasonal temperature acclimation of leaf R, are largely consistent across a range of salinities in A. germinans. These results might simplify predictions of photosynthetic and respiratory responses to temperature in young mangroves. 
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