A long-term study, lead by Dr. Wayne Sousa (University of California, Berkeley), is investigating a variety of biotic and abiotic processes that may account for the structure and dynamics of mangrove forests on the Caribbean coast of central Panama. The study forests of Punta Galeta, near the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's Galeta Marine Laboratory, contain three canopy tree species, which exhibit a pattern of shoreline zonation that is typical of the region. Seaward fringing stands are monopolized by Rhizophora mangle, low intertidal stands are a nearly even mixture of R. mangle and Laguncularia racemosa, and Avicennia germinans dominates more inland stands. L. racemosa often reappears in the canopy near the upland edge, and sometimes forms small monospecific stands along the mangrove-rain forest ecotone.
Sousa, Wayne P. 2007. Mangrove forest structure and dynamics, Punta Galeta, Panamá. <i>Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America<i>, 88(1): 46-49. doi:10.1890/0012-9623(2007)88[46:MFSADP]2.0.CO;2