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Botanical survey of Kilauea Volcano East Rift craters: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

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Title: Botanical survey of Kilauea Volcano East Rift craters: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Authors: Belfield, Thomas R.
Keywords: Kilauea East Rift Zone
LC Subject Headings: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii)
Plants -- Hawaii -- Hawaii Island.
Vegetation surveys -- Hawaii -- Hawaii Island.
Issue Date: Nov 1998
Publisher: Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Botany
Citation: Belfield TR. 1998. Botanical survey of Kilauea Volcano East Rift craters: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Honolulu (HI): Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Botany. PCSU Technical Report, 122.
Series/Report no.: Technical Report
122
Abstract: Three forested craters, Pu'u Huluhulu, Kane Nui O Hamo, and Napau Trail Pit Crater located on Kilauea volcano's East Rift Zone, were surveyed for feral pig (Sus scrofa) activity, alien plant species, and endangered, rare, and uncommon native plant species in 1995-1997. Plant species lists were prepared and Braun-Blanquet releve method was used to determine cover and abundance of vegetation. Releve plots were established at all three craters (two in Pu'u Huluhulu, two in Napau Trail Pit Crater, and five in Kane Nui O Hamo) to characterize forest type, species diversity, and species density occurring at these craters. These plots were replicated in exterior forests near these craters for qualitative comparison between interior and exterior forests. A total of eighteen plots were established. The craters have very steep interior walls inhibiting feral pig ingression. Using USGS-Biological Resources Division feral pig activity survey protocol it was determined that feral pigs have not been present recently within these forested craters. Sources of disturbance to interior crater forests are localized events such as tree and rock fall. Twenty-one alien plant species were located in the survey areas; nine at Kane Nui O Hamo, six at Napau Trail Pit Crater, and fifteen at Pu'u Huluhulu. The most aggressive alien plant species included firetree (Myrica faya), kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum), yellow Himalayan raspberry (Rubus ellipticus), and beardgrass (Andropogon virginicus). Alien plant species diversity in the craters is very low, much lower than the surrounding forests. We attribute this finding to the absence of feral pig disturbance, low levels of natural disturbance such as rock and tree fall, and a high diversity and density of native plant species which enhance recovery of disturbed sites. Thirteen rare and uncommon plant species were located in the survey areas. Two of these species, Phyllostegia floribunda, and pawale (Rumex giganteus), had not previously been recorded for the ERZ. Persistence of rare and uncommon native plant species may be attributed to steep interior crater walls and rough and variable terrain of crater floors which act as natural barriers to feral pigs, low intensity of natural disturbance, high diversity and density of other common native plant species, and a unique microclimate and microhabitat.
Description: Reports were scanned in black and white at a resolution of 600 dots per inch and were converted to text using Adobe Paper Capture Plug-in.
Sponsor: National Park Service Cooperative Agreement CA 8033 2 9004
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/7332
Appears in Collections:The PCSU and HPI-CESU Technical Reports 1974 - current



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