Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Post-typhoon Mangkhut: Rota Update

Rota was hit directly by Typhoon Mangkhut on Monday, Sept. 10th. EBL Field Biologist Erin Fitz was on Rota this week and said that there were "many huge trees broken and uprooted. The canopy of much of the forest is now very open and there are lots of dead leaves everywhere." Compared to Guam, the magnitude of damage on Rota was more severe Luckily field sites are still intact and we will be able to look at post-storm forest impacts. Below are photos of Rota's Alaguan Bay pre- and post-typhoon.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Post-typhoon Mangkhut: Update from the Islands

Post from ISU graduate student, Ann Marie Gawel: Typhoon Mangkhut blew through the Mariana Islands the night of Monday, Sept 10. While the island of Rota felt the brunt of it, Guam also experienced typhoon-force winds. I went out post-storm with EBL intern Erin Fitz (pictured in album under her mosquito net) to check on two of our Guam field sites. I was interested in seeing if the storm had knocked down many fruits, thereby impacting future fruit-picking efforts for my pig-feeding trials @SERDPESTCP #SERDP . The good news was that many trees were still fruiting, and we observed multiple species with fruits on the trees, both ripe and unripe throughout the forest. (big sigh of relief) Although there were some fruits, fallen branches, and many fallen leaves scattered about the forest floor, the forest looked intact, and we only saw a few fallen trees in and around our sites.

We also checked on eight different chicken-wire fences used in our canopy gap experiments and did a quick damage assessment of our long-term forest grids @NSF_Bio #NSFfunded. Two of the fences were damaged from fallen papaya trees, which we quickly mended to prevent any infiltration from wild ungulates (deer and pigs), and so we could continue to monitor seedlings in those plots. We saw a number of interesting critters in the forest including a Philippine deer, a singing sali (only heard), lizards, some large cane toads, a land crab with an interesting "shell", and many many mosquitoes.

Stay tuned for news from Rota, where the storm seemed to have a much bigger impact.