Alternate Title

Leaf Production of Sabal minor (Jacq.) Pers. in a Louisiana Forested Wetland


Leaf production of Sabal minor (Jacq.) Pers. (dwarf palmetto) was estimated at two sites in a forested wetland near Thibodaux, Louisiana during a 1-year period. One site was flooded throughout the study period, while the other was a drier bottomland hardwood ridge, higher in elevation by 40 em. Palmetto leaves were tagged and measured for total length during May 1989 and May 1990 in two plots within each site. Information on plant trunk height, plants/m2, leaves (fronds)/ plant, and leaf biomass was also obtained. Significant differences were noted for all parameters tested between plants on the flooded site and those on the ridge site. Leaf production was highest in the ridge site (68 g/m2/yr) and lowest in the flooded site (48 g/m2/yr). Most leaves died during the 1-year study period, Upon turning brown, leaves became brittle and broke apart rapidly. This may represent an important source of organic matter to the system that past studies have not documented.