Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

First report of gulf licaria, Licaria trianda, as a suscept of Laurel wilt.

Abstract

Gulf licaria, Licaria trianda [L. triandra], is a federally endangered member of the Lauraceae plant family in Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA. It was never common in the area, and urban development has extirpated it from most of its former range; as of 2001, fewer than 10 trees remained in a single, remnant habitat in the continental United States, Simpson Park. Laurel wilt, caused by the fungus Raffaelea lauricola, has recently devastated members of the Lauraceae in the southeastern United States, most notably redbay, Persea borbonia. As R. lauricola and its vector, the redbay ambrosia beetle Xyleborus glabratus, have spread in the region, an increasing number of taxa in this plant family have been affected by this disease. Pathogenicity experiments in 2012 with seedlings of gulf licaria and redbay revealed that gulf licaria was susceptible to laurel wilt, but less susceptible than redbay. Whether X. glabratus is attracted to, or will bore into, gulf licaria is not known, but will play a significant role in the extent to which this rare tree is affected by laurel wilt.