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Tree Cover Changes in Mamane (Sophora chrysophylla) Forests Grazed by Sheep and Cattle

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Title: Tree Cover Changes in Mamane (Sophora chrysophylla) Forests Grazed by Sheep and Cattle
Authors: Scowcroft, Paul G.
Issue Date: Apr 1983
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Scowcroft PG. 1983. Tree cover changes in Mamane (Sophora chrysophylla) forests grazed by sheep and cattle. Pac Sci 37(2): 109-119.
Abstract: Using aerial photographs taken in 1954, 1965, and 1975, percentage
of tree cover was determined for three sections of the sheep- and cattlegrazed
mdmane (Sophora chrysoph lla) forest of Mauna Kea , Hawaii. In one
section , the Ka'ohe Game Management Area, where grazing by sheep was
judged light, tree cover increased slightly during the 21-yr period , and tree cover
did not change significantly along an elevation gradient. This condition was
probably the result of the predominance of naio (Myoporum sandwicense) trees,
which are not as palatable as mamane and, therefore, are less sensitive to
browsing. In the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve, the most heavily sheep browsed of
the three section s, a significant loss of tree cover was observed between 1965and
1975near tree line where feral sheep tended to concentrate their browsing. Of the
three sections examined, Parker Ranch, which was grazed mainly by cattle,
sustained the greatest loss of tree cover during the 21-yr period, reflecting the
more destructive nature of cattle browsing as compared to sheep browsing.
Increases of tree cover in areas relatively free of sheep within the Mauna Kea
Forest Reserve indicated that habitat for the palila, an endangered bird that
depends on the mamane forest , will improve slowly after feral sheep are removed.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 37, Number 2, 1983

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