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Horticulturae 2018, 4(2), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4020009

Coconut Leaf Age and Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Herbivory Influence Leaflet Nutrients, Metals, and Lignin

College of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Guam, UOG Station, Mangilao, GU 96923, USA
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 29 May 2018 / Accepted: 6 June 2018 / Published: 8 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety Pertinent to Fresh Produce)
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Abstract

The coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB, Oryctes rhinoceros L.) is a serious pest of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) in many tropical regions, however the influences of CRB herbivory on the coconut leaf chemistry are unknown. This limits our ability to predict the afterlife decomposition dynamics of the damaged coconut leaf litter. Mature green and senesced leaflet tissues were collected from coconut trees on the island of Guam, where coconut is native and CRB is invasive. Mineral, metal, and lignin concentrations were quantified to determine the nutrient limitations and the litter quality traits. Nitrogen was increased and the elements that are not resorbed during leaf senescence were decreased by the CRB damage. The important litter stoichiometric traits carbon/nitrogen and lignin/nitrogen were decreased by the CRB damage. The results indicate that CRB herbivory may limit green leaf nutrition in Guam’s soils and increase the senesced leaf litter decomposition speed and nutrient turnover rates. View Full-Text
Keywords: Cocos nucifera; litter quality; Oryctes rhinoceros; resorption efficiency Cocos nucifera; litter quality; Oryctes rhinoceros; resorption efficiency
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Marler, T.E. Coconut Leaf Age and Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Herbivory Influence Leaflet Nutrients, Metals, and Lignin. Horticulturae 2018, 4, 9.

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