External and local controls on land-sea coupling assessed by stable isotopic signatures of mangrove producers in estuaries of Pacific Panama. Academic Article uri icon


  • Foliar stable isotopic signatures of nitrogen, carbon, and sulfur in mangrove vegetation from the Pacific coast of Panama were insensitive to inputs from watersheds with different area of forest land cover, and to seasonal, inter-annual, and global-scale-driven contrasts in rainfall and upwelling. N, C, and S content of mangrove vegetation were not affected by inputs from watersheds with different degrees of deforestation, but showed some influence of down-estuary transformations. While there was substantial variation that remained un-explained, isotopic signatures and nutrient contents were largely determined by species-specific features, and showed substantial small-scale variation reflecting local differences, within-estuary plant-sediment links. The ability of mangrove estuaries to erase effects of deforestation points out that conservation of these wetland ecosystems is important, because, at least in the sites we studied, transformations within mangrove estuaries were strong enough to protect water quality in receiving coastal waters.

publication date

  • June 2018