Effects of light quantity and quality on early seedling development in the red mangrove Rhizophora mangle L

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Seedlings of the red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle L., were grown under light conditions differing in both photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) and spectral quality (red:far-red ratio, R:FR). During the first 8 mo of development, parameters of stem, leaf, and root growth were affected by PPFD. Significant responses to lowered R:FR, however, were limited to internode extension. The results are moderately indicative of a strategy to persist in shade, but illustrate the complexity of light responses and suggest that precise categorization as shade-tolerant or -intolerant may be unbefitting for this species at this particular stage of development.

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