Pacific Science Volume 59, Number 3, 2005

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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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    Association affairs
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2005-07)
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    Blainville's beaked whale in New Caledonia
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2005-07) Borsa, Philippe ; Robineau, Daniel
    Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris) was positively identified in the waters around New Caledonia from two strandings, one live sighting, and two rostra collected from the seafloor. This is the only species of Ziphiidae reported so far from the New Caledonian archipelago and adjacent waters.
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    Sightings of Dwarf (Kogia sima) and Pygmy (K. breviceps) Sperm Whales from the Main Hawaiian Islands
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2005-07) Baird, Robin William
    Sightings of dwarf (Kogia sima) and pygmy (K. breviceps) sperm whales in Hawaiian waters have only rarely been reported. As part of boat-based surveys of odontocete cetaceans around the main Hawaiian Islands between 2000 and 2003, Kogia were observed on 18 occasions. Kogia were sighted most frequently in deeper portions of the study area (mean depth, 1,425 m) and in calm sea conditions (mean Beaufort sea state, 0.8). Thirteen of the 14 groups identified to species were dwarf sperm whales, the sixth most common species of odontocete documented around the main Hawaiian Islands. One group of six dwarf sperm whales containing two mother-infant pairs did not dive for more than a few minutes at a time. Most groups were difficult to approach, but photographs of several individual dwarf sperm whales showed distinctive marks on the dorsal fins, demonstrating that individual photo-identification is possible with this species.
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    Chromosome numbers of Angiosperms from the Juan Fernández Islands, the Tristan da Cunha Archipelago, and from Mainland Chile
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2005-07) Kiehn, Michael ; Jodl, Marion ; Jakubowsky, Gerhard
    Chromosome counts for eight native species in six genera from Juan Fernández Islands, five native species in three genera from Tristan da Cunha, and three species in two genera from mainland Chile are presented and discussed. They include the only chromosome number reports for angiosperms from Tristan da Cunha and first counts for the endemics Robinsonia thurifera and Wahlenbergia larrainii ( Juan Fernández), Agrostis carmichaelii, Acaena sarmentosa, A. stangii, and Nertera holmboei (Tristan da Cunha), and for Galium araucanum and Ourisia coccinea from Chile. Counts for Eryngium bupleuroides and Galium hypocarpium differ from earlier published reports.
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    Revision of the Hawaiian Stylasteridae (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa: Athecata)
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2005-07) Cairns, Stephen Douglas
    Four species of stylasterids are described from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (Kure to Kauai) at depths of 293583 m, including three new species: Distichopora asulcata, Stylaster griggi, and S. infundibuliferus. In addition, specimens of Distichopora anceps were observed and collected, showing it to be the most common macroinvertebrate on the northwestern slope of Laysan Island but not known from any other Hawaiian locality. Its description was amended to include branching colonies with up to 20 lobes; a suggested ontogeny of these growth forms is illustrated. Also, unique sexually dimorphic features of both male and female ampullae of D. anceps are described.
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    Influence of Mineralogy and Geological Setting on Trace Metal Concentration within Subtropical Weathered Profiles, Bells Creek Catchment, Queensland, Australia
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2005-07) Liaghati, Tania ; Preda, Micaela ; Cox, Malcolm
    The effects of mineralogy and geological setting on trace metal concentration and distribution within six weathered profiles developed sandstone mudstone was assessed. Primary minerals occurring in the weathered profiles are quartz, plagioclase, and K-feldspar. Kaolinite is the most dominant secondary mineral followed by mixed layers of smectite-illite, illite, hematite, siderite, and occasional calcite. Metal concentrations within fresh and weathered samples were investigated by two methods of digestions: HF-based digestion and aqua regia. Results revealed that V and Cr are largely present in the primary aluminosilicate matrix and are not easily available to the environment; however, Cu, Zn, and Pb are present in extractable forms and readily leached. Iron occurs in both primary minerals and insoluble secondary minerals such as hematite. The mineralogical study also showed that drill hole material with more clay minerals tends to contain higher metal concentrations, demonstrating that mineral composition is the major control over trace metal content. Spearman's rank correlation matrix also confirmed the role of mineralogy on trace metal concentration (e.g., V and Cr correlated with kaolinite and Pb correlated well with mixed layers of illite-smectite). Effect of geological setting on trace metal concentration was assessed by examining the geomorphological location of drill holes with respect to paleochannels, surface topography, and water table position. Results revealed that depth of burial of the weathered profile does not have an important effect on weathering and trace metal composition of samples. However, samples located on flat terrain and with shallow water table are more prone to leach metals. Factors controlling degree of chemical weathering and subsequent trace metal distribution are summarized in order of importance: mineralogy > geological setting (topography and parent rock type) > water table depth > depth of profile burial.
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    Description of fish assemblages in the black coral beds off Lahaina, Maui, Hawai'i, A
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2005-07) Boland, Raymond C. ; Parrish, Frank A.
    A series of scuba dives surveyed patches of black corals and their associated deep-reef fish community in the channel waters (50-73 m depth) of Maui, Hawaii. Most of the corals were identified as Antipathes dichotoma and averaged 76 cm (±.37) in height. Forty fish taxa were surveyed in the patches. Only Oxycirrhites typus was found exclusively within these coral trees. Sixty percent of the fish taxa surveyed were observed to frequent and pass through the coral branches. However, only four fish species were documented to reliably take shelter in the coral branches when evading an approaching diver. An archival video monitored movement patterns of fishes around a cluster of black coral trees for a 60-hr period. During daylight hours Dascyllus albisella, Centropyge potteri, Forcipiger flavissimus, Aulostomus chinensis, and Canthigaster jactator were observed to be the routine users of the coral patch, but only Dascyllus albisella and Centropyge potteri appeared to be resident to specific trees. At night Sargocentron sp. were observed feeding around the base of the coral trees, and Heniochus diphreutes dropped from their daytime position high in the water column to hide in the tree branches throughout the night. These observations indicate that black coral trees are used by many fishes as a general form of habitat, and if the coral trees are the largest relief feature at a site, their removal will likely impact the fish assemblage.
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    Rediscovery and uncertain future of high-elevation Haleakala carabid beetles (Coleoptera)
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2005-07) Krushelnycky, Paul D. ; Gillespie, Rosemary G. ; Loope, Lloyd L. ; Liebherr, James Kenneth
    Recent biotic surveys in subalpine shrubland on Haleakalā Volcano, Maui, Hawai'i, have resulted in rediscovery of several species of carabid beetles previously known only from their nineteenth-century type specimens. Blackburnia lenta (Sharp), described from specimens collected just below Haleakalā summit in 1894, was found at lower elevational sites ranging from 2,400 to 2,750 m. Mecyclothorax rusticus Sharp, last seen in 1896, and M. nubicola (Blackburn), collected only in 1878, were also rediscovered in that vicinity. Recent collections of B. lenta contradict the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's previous classification of this species as one likely to be extinct. Nevertheless, B. lenta's known distribution comprises only 145 ha within an elevational zone that is bounded above and below by unicolonial populations of the invasive alien Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr). The known recent collections of M. rusticus and M. nubicola also occurred outside the distributional range of the Argentine ant. Mature eggs held in the lateral oviducts of B. lenta females averaged 1.4x the volume of the largest eggs previously reported among 13 species of Blackburnia. We hypothesize that the giant eggs of B. lenta result from selective forces favoring large, well-nourished developing and hatched first-instar larvae, consistent with a patchy distribution of suitable microhabitat and prey in the subalpine Haleakalā landscape. The specialized life history of B. lenta, and coincidence of distributional limits of the three rediscovered carabid species with range limits of the Argentine ant populations suggest that all would be jeopardized by future distributional expansion of Argentine ant. These intersecting phenomena compel us to conclude that B. lenta, M. nubicola, and M. nubicola are appropriate candidates for I.U.C.N. threatened species designation, pending further studies of their geographic ranges and historical trends in abundance.
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    Origin and nature of vessels in Monocotyledons. 6. Hanguana (Hanguanaceae)
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2005-07) Schneider, Edward Lee ; Carlquist, Sherwin John
    Vessel elements from macerations of roots and stems of Hanguana malayana were studied with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Vessel elements are present in both stems and roots. The vessel elements of roots are slightly more specialized than those of stems in having greater differentiation of perforation plates from lateral wall areas. Long areas of transition between lateral wall areas and perforation plates, consisting of 10 or more pits (arguably perforations) with porose membranes or threadlike pit membrane remnants, characterize vessel elements of both stems and roots of Hanguana. Tracheids may be present, but cannot be identified with certainty. The vessel elements of Hanguana are like those of Acorus (Acoraceae) in primitiveness and are among the most primitive recorded for monocotyledons. These facts are consistent with placement of Hanguana in a monogeneric family, rather than in Flagellariaceae or any other family of monocotyledons.
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    Three species of intertidal sea anemones (Anthozoa: Actiniidae) from the Tropical Pacific : Description of anthopleura buddemeieri, n. sp., with remarks on anthopleura asiatica and gyractis sesere
    (University of Hawaii Press, 2005-07) Fautin, Daphne Gail
    A new species of sea anemone, Anthopleura buddemeieri Fautin, is described from Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Occurring high in the intertidal zone, a typical individual has a column rich brown in color and marked with longitudinal rows of red spots. Occurring in the same habitat, at least in Papua New Guinea, is a sea anemone known in the tropical Indo-Pacific from Aden to Hawai'i, the valid name of which is Gyractis sesere. Some records of Anthopleura asiatica may refer to A. buddemeieri but some clearly do not; because the name appears to have been applied to more than one species, the original description lacks critical information, and no type material exists, the name Anthopleura asiatica is considered a nomen dubium.
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