Pacific Science Volume 49, Number 1, 1995

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Pacific Science is a quarterly publication devoted to the biological and physical sciences of the Pacific Region.


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    Toward Ethical Treatment of Animals in Hawai'i's Natural Areas
    (University of Hawaii Press, 1995-01) Stone, Charles P.
    Human alienation from nature is evidenced by minimal understanding of interrelationships in the wild and an emphasis on individual wild animals. Different viewpoints (utilitarian, biocentric, and theocentric) about the natural world and the place of humans in it color ideas about management of natural areas and the species therein. Decisions about nature should consider a complex of human values including the economic, aesthetic, spiritual, ecological, and humane, along with a preservation ethic for the future. Control of introduced, or alien, animals in Hawai'i, where endangerment and extinction rates of native species are among the highest in the world, and where alien species cause severe degradation and disappearance of near-natural communities, has recently become controversial as a result of confrontational activities by animal rights activists. However, people who "speak for" animals in the world involve a wide variety of groups, including natural resource managers, hunters and fishers, scientists, agriculturists, conservationists, and humane and animal rights groups. An ethical system for wild animals must make good-faith efforts to protect all human values. A good-faith approach to conflict presumes that most groups have codes of right and wrong (ethics), even though some may not be as completely developed as others. We need to "outgrow" narrow views of nature by better understanding human relationships to it through meaningful participation (hunting, management, scientific study, observation, etc.). Actions and nonactions must be governed by a holistic and flexible ethic practically applied to different conflict situations.
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    Why Do Introduced Species Appear to Devastate Islands More Than Mainland Areas?
    (University of Hawaii Press, 1995-01) Simberloff, Daniel
    Island biotas are viewed popularly as much more fragile than those of mainland areas and much more prone to damage from invaders. There are far too few data to assess this view thoroughly; for example, failed invasions are often unrecorded, and claims that an introduced species has displaced a native one are often based on correlated population changes rather than experiment and/or detailed field observations. If there is a tendency for invasions to affect island communities more than mainland ones, it is far from universal; virtually every kind of damage wrought by invaders on islands has also been wrought in mainland areas. It is unlikely that, by virtue of their reduced species richness alone, island communities pose less "biotic resistance" to invaders than mainland communities do. Rather, certain entire groups of species, like terrestrial mammals, are often missing from islands, and these absences can predispose certain invaders to be especially likely to survive and to produce particular impacts.
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    Distribution and Ecology of Birds of Japan
    (University of Hawaii Press, 1995-01) Higuchi, Hiroyoshi ; Minton, Jason ; Katsura, Chieko
    The effects of island biogeography are clearly seen in the avifauna of Japan. Species composition and distribution reflect Japan's geographic, climatic, vegetational, topographical, and geological characteristics. It is a country composed primarily of mountainous, forested islands that lies off the coast of a continent rich in bird life. Though Japan has a wide range of climates and diverse forest habitats, the terrestrial and freshwater avifauna is depauperate when compared with species, family, and order diversity on the nearby continent, which is both larger in total area and more diverse in habitats. However, the bird groups that do have higher species diversity in Japan than in the Asian mainland are seabirds. The large, productive ocean area and small, isolated islands provide them with foraging and nesting sites, and the long geographic range of Japan allows seabirds from both northern and southern regions to nest in the Islands. Island biogeography also affects the ecology of many terrestrial species. Niche shift and expansion of foraging and parasitic behaviors are seen in populations established on islands where the species composition does not include certain competitors. The terrestrial species resident on small islands have developed unique breeding behavior, in comparison with their conspecifics on larger islands, such as smaller clutch size, exaggerated begging behavior, and longer parental care in small-island populations of Varied Tits, Parus varius Temminck & Schlegel.
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    Social Structure and Reproductive Systems of Tramp Versus Endemic Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Ryukyu Islands
    (University of Hawaii Press, 1995-01) Yamauchi, Katsusuke ; Ogata, Kazuo
    Currently, 126 ant species have been recorded from the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Of these, 54 species, many of which are probably new to science, have not yet been identified. A survey on species-habitat relationships made on the island of Okinawa indicated that open lands were occupied predominantly by tramp species, but primary forests contained many endemic species. Colony structure and the reproductive system of the eurychoric species are briefly reviewed and discussed. A secondary polygynous and polydomous system is predominant in these species. This system is characterized by intranidal mating, which may reduce the risk in nuptial flights and ensure the adoption of new queens. A diversity in morphology and behavior, especially in males, seems to develop, provided the workers care for them. Stenochoric forest species are mostly monogynous.
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    Variation in Reproductive Strategy of the Tropical Paper Wasp, Ropalidia fasciata (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), in Okinawa in Relation to Island Environmental Conditions
    (University of Hawaii Press, 1995-01) Ito, Yosiaki
    The tropical paper wasp, Ropalidia (Icariola) fasciata (F.), nests on leaves of gramineous plants (Miscanthus sinensis Andus. and sugarcane) in Okinawa, where there are frequent, strong typhoons. In Taiwan and Java, where the effects of typhoons are less severe, most nests are on tree twigs. A similar difference is seen in nests of Ropalidia (I.) marginata (Lepeletier) in the Northern Mariana Islands and in India. Okinawan R. fasciata also exhibits quite flexible social behavior, low frequency of intranidal dominance behavior, construction of satellite and multiple-comb nests, absconding swarming, and initiation and development of nests in late autumn. Study of the divergence of social habits in eusocial wasps on Pacific Islands will enhance our understanding of social evolution in insects.
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