Leucaena leucocephala and adjacent native limestone forest habitats contrast in soil properties on Tinian Island.
An ex situ germplasm collection of the endangered Cycas micronesica was established in a transition zone between biodiverse native forest and mature stands of the invasive species Leucaena leucocephala. Soil chemical properties were determined for the 2 tree cover types to inform management decisions. Total carbon, total nitrogen, calcium, and net ammonification were greater in native forest cover than in L. leucocephala patches. Net nitrification and net mineralization were greater under L. leucocephala cover. Trace metals also differed between the 2 forest cover types, with chromium, cobalt, and nickel accumulating to greater concentration under L. leucocephala cover and zinc accumulating to greater concentration under native forest cover. The results indicated that L. leucocephala cover generated substantial changes in soil chemical properties when compared with native forest tree cover, illuminating one means by which understory vegetation may be affected by changes in invasive tree cover.