Overview

Brief Summary

Avicennia bicolor is a mangrove tree found in a restricted portion of the Mesoamerican Pacific coast from northern Colombia to southern Costa Rica. An example specific area of occurrence is the Gulf of Panama ecoregion, a locale of severe threat for the entire mangrove ecosystem.

This tree is of modest stature and exhibits a dense green crown. Common associates are another Black mangrove Avicennia germinans, White mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa), Mora oleifera), Castaño (Montrichardia arborescens) and Mangle piñuelo (Pelliciera rhizophorae).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is found in the Eastern Tropical Pacific from Mexico to Colombia.
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Physical Description

Type Information

Isotype for Avicennia bicolor Standl.
Catalog Number: US 715141
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): H. Pittier
Year Collected: 1911
Locality: Aguadulce, province of Coclé; along the outskirts of the tidal belt., Panama, Central America
  • Isotype: Standley, P. C. 1923. J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 13: 354.
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Holotype for Avicennia bicolor Standl.
Catalog Number: US 715142
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): H. Pittier
Year Collected: 1911
Locality: Agua Dulce., Coclé, Panama, Central America
  • Holotype: Standley, P. C. 1923. J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 13: 354.
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© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Isotype for Avicennia bicolor Standl.
Catalog Number: US 715141
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): H. F. Pittier
Year Collected: 1911
Locality: Aguadulce, province of Coclé; along the outskirts of the tidal belt., Panama, Central America
  • Isotype: Standley, P. C. 1923. J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 13: 354.
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© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Holotype for Avicennia bicolor Standl.
Catalog Number: US 715142
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): H. F. Pittier
Year Collected: 1911
Locality: Agua Dulce., Coclé, Panama, Central America
  • Holotype: Standley, P. C. 1923. J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 13: 354.
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© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Isotype for Avicennia tonduzii Moldenke
Catalog Number: US 1323382
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): A. Tonduz
Year Collected: 1892
Locality: Puenta Mala, Costa Rica, Central America
  • Isotype: Moldenke, H. N. 1938. Phytologia. 1: 273.
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Ecology

Habitat

Moist Pacific Coast Mangroves Habitat

This taxon occurs in the Moist Pacific Coast mangroves, an ecoregion along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica with a considerable number of embayments that provide shelter from wind and waves, thus favouring mangrove establishment. Tidal fluctuations also directly influence the mangrove ecosystem health in this zone. The Moist Pacific Coast mangroves ecoregion has a mean tidal amplitude of three and one half metres,

Many of the streams and rivers, which help create this mangrove ecoregion, flow down from the Talamanca Mountain Range. Because of the resulting high mountain sediment loading, coral reefs are sparse along the Pacific coastal zone of Central America, and thus reef zones are chiefly found offshore near islands. In this region, coral reefs are associated with the mangroves at the Isla del Caño Biological Reserve, seventeen kilometres from the mainland coast near the Térraba-Sierpe Mangrove Reserve. The Térraba-Sierpe, found at the mouths of the Térraba and Sierpe Rivers, is considered a wetland of international importance.

Because of high moisture availability, the salinity gradient is more moderate than in the more northern ecoregion such as the Southern dry Pacific Coast ecoregion. Resulting mangrove vegetation is mixed with that of marshland species such as Dragonsblood Tree (Pterocarpus officinalis), Campnosperma panamensis, Guinea Bactris (Bactris guineensis), and is adjacent to Yolillo Palm (Raphia taedigera) swamp forest, which provides shelter for White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and Mantled Howler Monkeys (Alouatta palliata). Mangrove tree and shrub taxa include Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), Mangle Caballero (R. harrisonii) R. racemosa (up to 45 metres in canopy height), Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans) and Mangle Salado (A. bicolor), a mangrove tree restricted to the Pacific coastline of Mesoamerica.

Two endemic birds listed by IUCN as threatened in conservation status are found in the mangroves of this ecoregion, one being the Mangrove Hummingbird (Amazilia boucardi EN), whose favourite flower is the Tea Mangrove (Pelliciera rhizophorae), the sole mangrove plant pollinated by a vertebrate. Another endemic avain species to the ecoregion is the  Yellow-billed Cotinga (Carpodectes antoniae EN).  Other birds clearly associated with the mangrove habitat include Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja), Gray-necked Wood Rail (Aramides cajanea), Rufous-necked Wood Rail (A. axillaris), Mangrove Black-hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus subtilis),Striated Heron (Butorides striata), Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata), Boat-billed Heron (Cochlearius cochlearius), American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus), Amazon Kingfisher (Chloroceryle amazona), Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor), Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia), and Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus VU) among other avian taxa.

Mammals although not as numerous as birds, include species such as the Lowland Paca (Agouti paca), Mantled Howler Monkey (Alouatta palliata), White-throated Capuchin (Cebus capucinus), Silky Anteater (Cyclopes didactylus), Central American Otter (Lontra longicaudis annectens), White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), feeds on leaves within A. bicolor and L. racemosa forests. Two raccoons: Northern Raccoon (Procyon lotor) and Crab-eating Raccoon (P. cancrivorus) can be found, both on the ground and in the canopy consuming crabs and mollusks. The Mexican Collared Anteater (Tamandua mexicana) is also found in the Moist Pacific Coast mangroves.

There are a number of amphibians in the ecoregion, including the anuran taxa: Almirante Robber Frog (Craugastor talamancae); Chiriqui Glass Frog (Cochranella pulverata); Forrer's Grass Frog (Lithobates forreri), who is found along the Pacific versant, and is at the southern limit of its range in this ecoregion. Example salamanders found in the ecoregion are the Colombian Worm Salamander (Oedipina parvipes) and the Gamboa Worm Salamander (Oedipina complex), a lowland organism that is found in the northern end of its range in the ecoregion. Reptiles including the Common Basilisk Lizard (Basiliscus basiliscus), Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor), American Crocodile (Crocodilus acutus), Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus), Black Spiny-tailed Iguana (Ctenosaura similis) and Common Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) thrive in this mangrove ecoregion.

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is a canopy tree at 15 m height, and occurs in relatively dry, flat areas compared to other mangroves. It is found in the down-stream high intertidal region where river mouths meet the sea. This species has a high tolerance to hypersaline conditions.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Avicennia bicolor

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Avicennia bicolor

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 11
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A2cd

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Duke, N.

Reviewer/s
Polidoro, B.A., Livingstone, S.R. & Carpenter, K.E. (Global Marine Species Assessment Coordinating Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
This is a species is restricted to the Eastern Pacific, and is found in dry muddy flats, which are commonly cleared for urban development, aquaculture, and livestock. Based on a yearly reduction of 1.4 % between 1980 and 2000, there has been an estimated 31 - 42 % loss in mangrove area within its range over the past 30 years. Decline over a period of three generation lengths (120 years) is likely to be much higher, however, little data exists for this time period.This species is listed as Vulnerable under Criterion A. There is known continuing decline from altered land use and exploitation, and with more historical data, this species may qualify for a higher threat category.
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Population

Population
This species has experienced population declines of aproximately 31% over the past 30 years based on total loss of mangrove habitat throughout its range (FAO 2007).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
This species has a limited range in the Eastern Pacific. Throughout its distribution, it occurs in areas that are commonly cleared for cattle grazing and other types of farming. Cattle that feed under mangroves reduce regeneration capacity and damage the root structure and leaves of the mature trees. In addition, its habitat (dry mud flats) is commonly developed by people, resulting in extensive removal of mangroves in these areas. Similarly, it is a species that lives in a high risk area for urban and aquaculture deveopment. Over the last 30 years (1980 to 2005) there has been an estimated reduction of at least 31% (FAO 2007), but as high as 42% based on a yearly reduction of 1.4% between 1980 and 2000 (Duke et al. 2007) in mangrove area within its range.

All mangrove ecosystems occur within mean sea level and high tidal elevations, and have distinct species zonations that are controlled by the elevation of the substrate relative to mean sea level. This is because of associated variation in frequency of elevation, salinity and wave action (Duke et al. 1998). With rise in sea-level, the habitat requirements of each species will be disrupted, and species zones will suffer mortality at their present locations and re-establish at higher elevations in areas that were previously landward zones (Ellison 2005). If sea-level rise is a continued trend over this century, then there will be continued mortality and re-establishment of species zones. However, species that are easily dispersed and fast growing/fast producing will cope better than those which are slower growing and slower to reproduce.

In addition, mangrove area is declining globally due to a number of localized threats. The main threat is habitat destruction and removal of mangrove areas. Reasons for removal include cleared for shrimp farms, agriculture, fish ponds, rice production and salt pans, and for the development of urban and industrial areas, road construction, coconut plantations, ports, airports, and tourist resorts. Other threats include pollution from sewage effluents, solid wastes, siltation, oil, and agricultural and urban runoff. Climate change is also thought to be a threat, particularly at the edges of a species range. Natural threats include cyclones, hurricane and tsunamis.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no conservation measures specific to this species, but its range may include some marine and coastal protected areas. Continued monitoring and research is recommended, as well as the inclusion of mangrove areas in marine and coastal protected areas.
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