University of Guam, Western Pacific Tropical Research Center - Research for Guam's Future
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Fields of Study

Plant Physiology

The Plant Physiology & Fruit Science Laboratory research team focuses on understanding the responses of plants to the typical abiotic stresses of the Mariana Islands. This work is primarily whole plant physiology. The horticultural research aims at improving production practices of tropical fruit species and native woody perennial tree species.

Researchers in this laboratory have been at the forefront in protecting Cycas micronesica, the only native gymnosperm from the Mariana Islands, from two introduced arthropods: the cycad blue butterfly, Chilades pandava Horsfield and Asian cycad scale, Aulacaspis yasumatsui Takagi. The combined attack of these introduced species has resulted in a very high mortality rate which has prompted the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) to designate a provisional conservation endangered species for Cycas micronesica.


Cycas micronesica petioles collapse
following scale infestation.
Photo credit: T. Marler.

Heavy infestation of Aulacaspis yasumatsui 
on rachis and leaflets.
Photo credit: T. Marler.


Asian cycad scale was introduced to the island through ornamental cycads brought in for landscaping purposes and quickly spread throughout the native cycad population. Through the efforts of scientists in Guam, Tinian, Thailand and the United States, Cycas micronesica genetic stock has been preserved in nurseries in Tinian and Thailand.


The following researchers are involved with this Field of Study:

Thomas E Marler - Publications


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