Does energetic cost for leaf construction in Sonneratia change after introduce to another mangrove wetland and differ from native mangrove plants in South China?
Exotic species invasions are serious ecological problems. Leaf construction cost (CC) and growth traits of two Sonneratia (Sonneratia caseolaris and S. apetala) and four native species (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Kandelia obovata, Aegiceras corniculatum and Avicennia marina) in Hainan and Shenzhen mangrove wetlands were compared to evaluate invasive potentials of Sonneratia after introduced to Shenzhen, their new habitat. There were no significant differences in CC and growth traits between two wetlands, suggesting Sonneratia did not lose any advantage in the new habitat and were competitive in both wetlands. CC per unit mass (CCM), CC per unit area (CCA) and caloric values of Sonneratia were significantly lower than those of native mangrove species while specific leaf area (SLA) was just the opposite. CCM of S. caseolaris and S. apetala were 6.1% and 11.9% lower than those of natives, respectively. These findings indicated the invasive potential of Sonneratia in Shenzhen after their introduction.