Mangrove reforestation in Vietnam: The effect of sediment physicochemical properties on nutrient cycling

J. F. Oxmann, Q. H. Pham, L. Schwendenmann, J. M. Stellman, R. J. Lara

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15 Scopus citations


Sediment physicochemical properties most likely control the reforestation success on degraded mangrove sites. Our objectives were (1) to determine the nutritional status of reforested mangrove stands; (2) to investigate the effects of the redox potential (Eh) and pH on phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) cycling; and (3) to assess the effect of pH on P speciation. Five transects were studied in replanted stands of the Saigon River Delta, Vietnam. Spatial gradients of sediment Eh and pH were affected by the tidal regime and pyrite oxidation. Sediment Al/Fe-P correlated with Eh or pH, depending on the sediment layer, whereas Ca-P, Morgan-P (available P) and leaf P were influenced by the pH. The highest concentrations of Al/Fe-P were recorded at pH 6.5 probably due to adsorption effects. Sediment Ca-P increased strongly at pH below 4 and above 6, reflecting the different pH-dependent solubilities of individual Ca-P mineral species as shown by a newly developed method for P species quantification. A strong increase of available P and leaf P above pH 6, and positive correlations of available P vs Ca-P (P<0.001) and leaf P (P=0.004) suggest that the Morgan's reagent for available P determination solubilizes mainly thermodynamically less stable Ca-P compounds, which seem to fuel P plant uptake. Since foliar and sediment N:P ratios were influenced mainly by pH, shifts in pH likely cause limitation transitions. Overall, sediment pH rather than Eh was found to control the nutrient status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-241
Number of pages17
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium phosphate minerals
  • Nutrient availability
  • Phosphorus limitation
  • Redox potential and pH
  • Sediment acidification


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