Tropical cyclones (TCs) are large-scale natural disturbances that affect the health of managed and unmanaged forests, the urban landscape, and perennial horticulture plantings for many years after the disturbance. Numerous post-TC assessments reveal that tree species vary in damage and recovery dynamics. Guam experiences more TCs than any other state or territory of the United States (Marler, 2001). Tropical cyclones are called typhoons in the western Pacific Ocean, and the island’s forests have been dubbed “typhoon forests” because general appearance at any time is defined by the most recent typhoons (Stone, 1971).
Native tree species possess traits that enable them to recover after TC damage, which is one reason that these species with aesthetic appeal are ideal for horticultural applications. Cycas micronesica K.D. Hill was the most abundant tree species in Guam as recently as 2002 (Donnegan et al., 2004). The pachycaulous stems of this species are non-woody, and stem sections that are broken off during TC damage readily develop adventitious roots and continue growing (Fig. 1A). The species is recognized for its ability to recover from damage after a TC. For example, reliance on C. micronesica tissues for human consumption was historically important after frequent TCs that destroyed other crop plants, primarily because concurrent damage to C. micronesica was minimal (Edwards, 1918).
We quantified damage to the C. micronesica population when peak winds of 298 wind km·h−1 impacted Guam during Typhoon Paka in Dec. 1997 (Marler and Hirsh, 1998) and determined that mechanical failure from TC winds snapped stems in ≈12% of the trees. We then followed recovery of plants that experienced various damage categories until 1999 (Hirsh and Marler, 2002) and determined that 100% of the intact lower stems recovered (Fig. 1B) by formation of adventitious stems on the stump (Fig. 1C), but 100% of the toppled portion of the stems was consumed by feral pigs (Sus scrofa L.; Fig. 1D).
Boucher, D.H., Vandermeer, J.H., Mallona, M.A., Zamora, N. & Perfecto, I. 1994 Resistance and resilience in a directly regenerating rainforest: Nicaraguan trees of the Vochysiaceae after Hurricane Joan For. Ecol. Mgt. 68 127 136
Butler, D.W., Gleason, S.M., Davidson, I., Onoda, Y. & Westoby, M. 2011 Safety and streamlining of woody shoots in wind: An empirical study across 39 species in tropical Australia New Phytol. 193 137 149
Donnegan, J.A., Butler, S.L., Grabowiecki, W., Hiserote, B.A. & Limtiaco, D. 2004 Guam’s forest resources, 2002. Resource Bulletin PNW-RB-243. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR. 32 pp
Edwards, C.W. 1918 Report of the Guam Agricultural Experiment Station. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC
Fisher, J.B., Lindström, A. & Marler, T. 2009 Tissue responses and solution movement after stem wounding in six Cycas species HortScience 44 848 851
Griffith, M.P., Noblick, L.R., Dowe, J.L., Husby, C.E. & Calonje, M. 2008 Cyclone tolerance in New World Arecaceae: Biogeographic variation and abiotic natural selection Ann. Bot. (Lond.) 102 591 598
Hlásny, T. & Turčáni, M. 2013 Persisting bark beetle outbreak indicates the unsustainability of secondary Norway spruce forests: Case study from Central Europe Ann. For. Sci. 70 481 491
Marler, T.E. & Lawrence, J.H. 2012 Demography of Cycas micronesica on Guam following introduction of the armoured scale Aulacaspis yasumatsui J. Trop. Ecol. 28 233 242
Marler, T.E., Miller, R. & Moore, A. 2013 Vertical stratification of predation on Aulacaspis yasumatsui infesting Cycas micronesica seedlings HortScience 48 60 62
Marler, T.E. & Muniappan, R. 2006 Pests of Cycas micronesica: Leaf, stem, and male reproductive tissues with notes on current threat status Micronesica 39 1 9
Moore, A., Marler, T., Miller, R.H. & Muniappan, R. 2005 Biological control of cycad aulacaspis scale on Guam The Cycad Newsletter 28 6 8
Norstog, K.J. & Nicholls, T.J. 1997 The biology of the cycads. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithica, NY
Puijalon, S., Bouma, T.J., Douady, C.J., van Groenendael, J., Anten, N.P.R., Martel, E. & Bornette, G. 2011 Plant resistance to mechanical stress: Evidence of an avoidance–tolerance trade-off New Phytol. 191 1141 1149
Putz, F.E., Coley, P.D., Lu, K., Montalvo, A. & Aiello, A. 1983 Uprooting and snapping of trees: Structural determinants and ecological consequences Can. J. For. Res. 13 1011 1020
Ruel, J.-C., Achim, A., Herrera, R.E. & Cloutier, A. 2010 Relating mechanical strength at the stem level to values obtained from defect-free wood samples Trees (Berl.) 24 1127 1135
Shaw, C.G. III & Taes, E.H.A. 1977 Impact of Dothistroma needle blight and Armillaria root rot on diameter growth of Pinus radiata Phytopathology 66 1319 1323
Shibita, E. & Torazawa, Y. 2008 Effects of bark stripping by sika deer, Cervus nippon, on wind damage to coniferous trees in subalpine forest of central Japan J. For. Res. 13 296 301
Whitney, R.D., Fleming, R.L., Zhou, K. & Mossa, D.S. 2002 Relationship of root rot to black spruce windfall and mortality following strip clear-cutting Can. J. For. Res. 32 283 294