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Temperature thresholds for black mangrove freeze damage, mortality, and recovery: refining tipping points for range expansion in a warming climate

September 11, 2019

To advance understanding of mangrove range dynamics in eastern North America, there is a need to refine temperature thresholds for mangrove freeze damage, mortality, and recovery. Here, We integrated data from 38 sites spread across the mangrove range edge in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts of the southeastern United States, including data from a regional collaborative network called the Mangrove Migration Network (https://www.usgs.gov/centers/wetland-and-aquatic-research-center-warc/s…). In 2018, an extreme freeze event affected 60 percent of these sites, with minimum temperatures ranging from 0 to -7 degrees Celsius. We used temperature data and vegetation measurements from before and after the freeze to quantify temperature thresholds for leaf damage, mortality, and biomass recovery of the black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) - the most freeze-tolerant mangrove species in North America. Note that the temperature logger data presented here are the site-level mean nightly minimum temperatures obtained from plot-level means of the raw temperature data collected from the loggers. For additional information, see the associated publication (Osland et al. 2019).