Centro De Investigaciones Biologicas del Noroeste: Mangroves
Conservation of arid mangrove ecosystems in Baja California Sur, Mexico

Mangrove Reforestation of Damaged Ecosystems through the Production of Innoculated Plants with Plant-growth-promoting Bacteria

In agriculture and forestry, the inoculation of plants with plant-growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) is proposed. These bacteria promote plant growth using mechanisms such as N2 fixation, phosphate solubilization, phytohormones, siderophores, and biocontrol of phytopathogens (Bashan and Holguin 1997; Glick 1995). The question arises whether one can use PGPBs to speed up mangrove plantlet development for reforestation of the damaged zones or even to create man-made mangrove wetlands out of wastelands. Specific PGPBs of mangrove ecosystems are unknown. However, an attempt was made to inoculate mangrove with strains of the nitrogen-fixing mangrove cyanobacteria Microcoleus chthonoplastes and Azospirillum sp.(a common terrestrial PGPB)(Bashan et al. 1998; Puente et al., 1999; Toledo et al. 1995).

Inoculation of the oilseed halophyte Salicornia bigelovii-- an annual growing in American west coast estuaries and a potential oilseed for saline water agriculture-- with several mangrove rhizosphere bacteria, significantly enhanced plant growth and the nitrogen, protein, and fatty acid content of seeds (Bashan et al, 2000). These results are encouraging, and suggest the use of PGPBs to promote the growth of mangrove plants.

Mangrove innoculation with bacteria
Inoculation of the cyanobacteria Microcoleus on black mangrove roots. This cyanobacteria increased the nitrogen level of the plant.

Reforesting fallow lands

Planting mangroves
A viable option is construction of artificial ecosystems by digging of drain channels and reforestation of the area using innoculated plants to extend the mangrove areas, compensating for the lost ecosystems.
Here we see black mangrove reforestation by CIB scientists at a destroyed area of Balandra Lagoon. Five years after planting, the reforested area shows no difference from natural forest.

Go to the page of proposals for mangrove conservation

Comments on page content: Dr. Yoav Bashan
Design & production: Larry Miller
Version: February 2005