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Thomas E. Marler and John H. Lawrence

The leaf nutrient status and stoichiometry of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) were determined for Elaeocarpus joga trees in Guam’s dominant calcareous soils to understand nutrient limitations in limestone soils of Oceania and contribute to global databases on leaf economic spectrum studies. Supplemental N, P, or K was added to soils to determine plant growth and nutrient concentration responses. Leaf and soil quantifications of nutrients enabled multiple trait comparisons. Supplemental N stimulated growth of young cultivated plants without affecting leaf N concentrations. Supplemental K increased leaf K concentration but did not generate a growth response. Supplemental P did not affect growth or leaf P concentration. N:P, N:K, and K:P were most influenced by K additions. Leaf N and P concentrations of mature trees in unmanaged settings were similar to unfertilized young plants in the controlled study, but leaf K concentration was greater in the mature trees. Leaf nutrient relations were not overtly related to soil nutrient relations for mature trees. Results indicate that N and K are the limiting factors in calcareous soils of the Mariana Islands for this endemic tree species, age and size of trees do not greatly influence leaf nutrient content, and leaf stoichiometry is constrained and less variable than soil stoichiometry.

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Thomas E. Marler, Louann C. Guzman, and John H. Lawrence

Acacia auriculiformis, A. mangium, and A. koa trees were grown in 5.4-liter containers under conditions of 100%, 44%, or 19% sunlight transmission to determine biomass accumulation and partitioning and phyllode gas-exchange responses to developmental light level. Following ≈100 days of growth, all three species exhibited a linear decrease in relative growth rate and biomass accumulation in response to developmental light level. The influence of reduced developmental light level on growth was similar for the three species, with biomass accumulation under 19% transmission averaging ≈20% of that under full sunlight. In a second study, the diurnal pattern of gas exchange of mature phyllodes was determined. Gas exchange of phyllodes under 19% or 44% transmission depended on photosynthetic photon flux throughout the day. In contrast, gas exchange of phyllodes in 100% transmission was highest in early to midmorning on sunny days. Phyllode gas exchange slowly declined thereafter for A. mangium and A. koa, but rapidly declined then slightly recovered in late afternoon for A. auriculiformis.

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Thomas E. Marler, April Cascasan, and John H. Lawrence

Seedling emergence and growth traits of three rare and threatened tree species in the Mariana Islands were studied within a range of incident light levels and up to 9 months of seed storage. Seedling emergence percentage and velocity were maximized in moderate shade for Elaeocarpus joga Merr., deep shade for Serianthes nelsonii Merr., and full sunlight for Tabernaemontana rotensis (Kaneh.) P.T. Li. Seedling height was increased by shade for E. joga and S. nelsonii. Height of T. rotensis seedlings was not influenced by incident light from 25% to 100%. Nine months of seed storage at ambient temperature did not influence emergence percentage of E. joga or S. nelsonii seeds. In contrast, seeds of T. rotensis began declining in seedling emergence percentage between 2 and 3 months of storage, and seedling emergence was nil by 4 months. This study represents the first experimental approach to determining the influences of light and storage on seed and seedling behavior for any rare and threatened taxa from the Mariana Islands. Our findings that revealed highly contrasting responses among the species provide a valuable start to building the knowledge base needed to respond to formal recovery or conservation plans by defining horticultural protocols for managing a conservation nursery.