Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Invasive insects cause staggering impact on native tree

Date:
August 3, 2012
Source:
University of Guam
Summary:
The beautiful, endemic and endangered cycad, Cycas micronesica was once a dominant forest tree on the island of Guam, but recent plant mortality predicts extirpation from Guam habitats by 2019.

The beautiful, endemic and endangered cycad, Cycas micronesica was once a dominant forest tree on the island of Guam, but recent plant mortality predicts extirpation from Guam habitats by 2019. This dire prediction by scientists at the Western Pacific Tropical Research Center (WPTRC), University of Guam is validated by the research of Thomas E. Marler and John H. Lawrence, which has concluded that Cycas micronesica is the only native host for the invasive scale insect Aulacaspis yasumatsui. "The potential cascading ecosystem responses are yet to be completely understood," says WPTRC research scientist Marler.

Related Articles


The armored scale insect A. yasumatsui attacks several cycad genera, but only members of the Cycas genus are killed by the pest. Around twenty years ago the insect was unintentionally introduced to an area in southern Florida known for the production and exportation of Cycas revoluta. The scale was documented in Hawaii in 1998 and in Guam in 2003, and by 2005 it was found in native limestone forest habitat close to the initial outbreak site.

"We looked for native habitats that would be representative of the general cycad populations where we could study population-level response to the devastating scale pest. Our data showed the number of months for juvenile plants to reach 100% mortality was dependent on size and other demographic features," says Marler.

Just like the human body, plants exposed to constant stresses eventually become weakened and unable to withstand additional stresses that by themselves would not be fatal. After the scale invasion, mature C. micronesica trees began to succumb to other pressures. These other factors contributing to the plant mortality include two other invasive insects that enjoy eating cycad salads for dinner: the cycad blue butterfly (Chilades pandava) and a tiny moth (Erechthias sp.).

"During the time frame of our study, cycad scale has been found in Rota in 2007 and in Palau in 2008," says Marler. "The spread of A. yasumatsui in the region underscores the importance of empirical studies to inform conservation efforts on Guam and the rest of Micronesia."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Guam. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Guam. "Invasive insects cause staggering impact on native tree." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120803094527.htm>.
University of Guam. (2012, August 3). Invasive insects cause staggering impact on native tree. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120803094527.htm
University of Guam. "Invasive insects cause staggering impact on native tree." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120803094527.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

AP (Feb. 28, 2015) Researchers following endangered killer whales spotted a baby orca off the coast of Washington state, the third birth documented this winter but still leaving the population dangerously low. (Feb. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bridge Collapses Due to Flooding in Bolivia

Bridge Collapses Due to Flooding in Bolivia

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 28, 2015) Heavy rain and flooding sweep through parts of Bolivia causing damage and leaves more than 2,000 people homeless. Sophia Soo reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Death Toll from Afghan Avalanches Tops 200

Death Toll from Afghan Avalanches Tops 200

AFP (Feb. 27, 2015) More than 200 people have been killed in a series of avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall in Afghanistan. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
France, Philippines Call for Agreement on Climate Change

France, Philippines Call for Agreement on Climate Change

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) The presidents of France and the Philippines issue a joint appeal for a binding agreement on climate change. Katie Sargent reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins