Pacific Science Volume 32, Number 1, 1978

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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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    Abstracts of Papers - Pacific Science
    (University of Hawaii Press, 1978-01)
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    Vegetation of the Montane Region of Savai'i, Western Samoa
    (University of Hawaii Press, 1978-01) Whistler, W Arthur
    The natural vegetation of the volcanic region of Savai'i, Western Samoa, as surveyed on an expedition in 1975, is described. The natural vegetation of the highlands consists of cloud forest and smaller amounts of lavaflow scrub, scrub and herbaceous vegetation of cinder and ash deposits, and montane meadows. All but the latter were sampled for species composition and relative dominance of species. An annotated checklist of all flowering plant species collected or recorded on the expedition is included.
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    Consumption and Growth Rates of Chaetognaths and Copepods in Subtropical Oceanic Waters
    (University of Hawaii Press, 1978-01) Newbury, T.K.
    The natural rates of food consumption and growth were calculated for the chaetognath Pterosagitta draco and the copepod Scolecithrix danae in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii. The chaetognath's consumption rate was calculated using the observed frequency of food items in the stomachs of large specimens from summer samples and the digestion times from previous publications. The natural consumption rate averaged only one copepod per 24 hr, or about 2 percent of the chaetognath's nitrogen weight per 24 hr. The growth rates of both P. draco and S. danae were calculated with the temporal patterns of variations in the size compositions of the spring populations. The natural growth rates averaged only 2 and 4 percent of the body nitrogen per 24 hr for, respectively, small P. draco and the copepodids of S. danae. These natural rates were low in comparison with published laboratory measurements of radiocarbon accumulation, nitrogen excretion, and oxygen respiration of subtropical oceanic zooplankton.
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    Thermoregulatory Behavior of the Hawaiian Monk Seal (Monachus schauinslandi)
    (University of Hawaii Press, 1978-01) Whittow, G.C.
    The behavior of Hawaiian monk seals at French Frigate Shoals was studied in order to obtain information on their adaptation to a tropical climate. The seals were unable to remain on the dry beach platform during the day except during very high winds, extensive cloud cover, or rain. The seals characteristically moved down to wet sand on the beach slope during the day and returned to the beach platform at night. The frequency with which the seals changed their posture appeared to be related to the prevailing microclimatic conditions. For the most part, the seals lay in postures that exposed their ventral pale-colored hair coat to the atmosphere. The temperature of this surface was significantly lower than that of the darker dorsal coat. The seals were extremely inactive while ashore; their respiratory pattern included long periods of breath-holding, and the heart rate during breath-holding was low. These features were considered to be compatible with a low level of metabolic heat production and to be adaptive to heat exposure.
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    Land Snails from Mothe, Lakemba, and Karoni Islands, Lau Archipelago, Fiji
    (University of Hawaii Press, 1978-01) Solem, Alan
    Land snails sorted from bagged leaf litter on Karoni, Lakemba, and Mothe Islands in the Lau Archipelago of Fiji numbered 35 species. Literature and Field Museum of Natural History collection records add four others for a total of39 species. There are now 13 recorded from Mothe, 20 from Karoni, and 22 from Lakemba. Nine of these taxa are introductions from outside the Pacific basin, dating from European commercial activities; three probably were introduced by Polynesian voyagers; and 27 probably are endemic to Lau. Many of the latter belong to widely distributed Pacific basin species complexes and cannot be assigned a specific name with certainty, but several are restricted to just one or two islands in Lau. The diversity of species on each island does not follow the species-area curve.
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