Pacific Science Volume 45, Number 2, 1991

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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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    Additions to the Fish Faunas of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, Southwest Pacific Ocean
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 1991-04) Francis, Malcolm P.
    Eighty-nine new fish records are reported front three subtropical island groups of the Southwest Pacific Ocean: Lord Howe (12 species), Norfolk (64), and Kermadec (13) islands. The coastal fish faunas of these islands are now reasonably well known, but further study is likely to result in discovery of additional species. Diversity of coastal fishes declines eastward, with Lord Howe having the greatest diversity and the Kermadecs the least.
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    New Records of Fishes from Johnston Atoll, with Notes on Biogeography
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 1991-04) Kosaki, Randall K. ; Pyle, Richard L. ; Randall, John E. ; Irons, Darby K.
    Thirty new records of fishes are reported from Johnston Atoll. Three are Hawaiian endemics, six are widespread Indo-Pacific species that reach Johnston but not Hawaii, and the remainder are widespread species that have been recorded from Hawaii and elsewhere in the Pacific. The number of fish species recorded from Johnston is raised to 301. The attenuated nature of Johnston's fish fauna may be due to several factors, including isolation, lack of habitat area and diversity, and glacioeustatic extinctions.
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    Geographic Survey of Genetic Variation in Kava (Piper methysticum Forst. f. and P. wichmannii C. DC.)
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 1991-04) Lebot, Vincent ; Aradhya, Mallikarjuna K. ; Manshardt, Richard M.
    A survey of the genetic resources of kava (Piper methysticum Forst. f. and P. wichmannii C. DC.) was conducted throughout the Pacific. Leaf tissues of more than 300 accessions, collected on 35 islands, were analyzed for isozyme variation in eight enzyme systems including ACO, ALD, DIA, IDH, MDH, ME, PGI, and PGM. Isozymes in P. methysticum cultivars from Polynesia and Micronesia were monomorphic for all enzyme systems examined; however, cultivars from Melanesia were polymorphic for ACO, DIA, MDH, and PGM. The genetic base of this crop is much narrower than previous morphological and biochemical studies suggest. Most of the morphotypes and chemotypes apparently originated through human selection and preservation of somatic mutations in a small number of original clones. Isozymes of P. wichmannii confirmed its status as the wild progenitor of kava. Piper methysticum cultivars and P. wichmannii and P. gibbilimbum C. DC. wild forms were all found to be decaploids with 2n = lOx = 130 chromosomes, but there was no firm evidence that interspecific hybridization has played a role in the origin of P. methysticum.
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    Microclimatological Investigations in the Tropical Alpine Scrub of Maui, Hawaii: Evidence for a Drought-induced Alpine Timberline
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 1991-04) Leuschner, Christoph ; Schulte, Michael
    Micrometeorological measurements were made in the lower alpine zone of Mt. Haleakala on Maui, Hawaiian Islands, in March 1988 to characterize ecologically significant climatological parameters. Daily courses of photosynthetically active and total net radiation; temperatures of air, soil, and plant canopy; wind speed; air humidity; leaf wetness; and precipitation were recorded at an elevation of 2100 m in alpine scrub slightly above the timberline. A battery-powered data-logging system was used, which gave high temporal resolution. Influence of variable cloud cover on microclimate of the study site was evaluated on five selected days with highly differing weather conditions. Based on comparison with data from other high mountains of the humid tropical zone, it is concluded that the alpine timberline on Maui is caused by a complex of factors. Plant water availability is probably the dominating one; temperature seems to be of lesser importance. The possible role of other important factors is discussed. The extraordinary microclimatological conditions of the alpine zone of Maui are examined in the context of the atmospheric circulation system in the region of the Hawaiian archipelago.
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    Woody Vegetation on the Raised Coral Limestone of Mangaia, Southern Cook Islands
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 1991-04) Merlin, Mark D.
    Mangaia, the second largest (51.8 km2 ) of the Cook Islands, has a central, volcanic region with a maximum elevation of 169 m above sea level. The igneous interior is surrounded by an extensive formation of elevated coral limestone as much as 2 km wide and 70 m above sea level. Although the native vegetation in the volcanic interior has been altered greatly through human interference, a quantitative survey in the raised limestone region indicates that plant life on the elevated reefs is still largely dominated by native species. Seventy percent of the woody species recorded in 20 transects are either indigenous or endemic to the Cook Islands, and native plants accounted for 88% of the total basal area covered by the woody vegetation sampled on the raised coral limestone. Herbaceous ground cover in the study area was almost completely dominated by native species (99%). Four woody plant associations in the limestone areas are recognized by dendrogram analysis: (I) mixed native forest, dominated by Elaeocarpus tonganus; (2) disturbed mixed native forest, dominated by Hernandia moerenhoutiana or Cocos nucifera; (3) Pandanus scrub; and (4) Barringtonia forest. Some biogeographical aspects of the relatively undisturbed limestone forest region and the ecological implications of human disturbance of the vegetation on Mangaia are also discussed.
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