Pacific Science, Volume 60, Numbers 3, 2006

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    Association Affairs
    (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2006-07)
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    First Record of Brachiopods from the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia, South Central Pacific.
    (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2006-07) Bitner, Maria Aleksandra
    Two species of Recent brachiopods, Eucalathis cf. murrayi and Frenulina sanguinolenta, have been identified in the collection from the Musorstom 9 Expedition to the Marquesas Islands in 1997. They represent the first record of brachiopods from the Marquesas Islands. Both species previously have been reported from the western Pacific, and F. sanguinolenta is also known from Hawai‘i in the North Central Pacific. Presence of these species in the Marquesas extends the eastern boundary of their biogeographic range. The brachiopods from the Marquesas show very low diversity when compared with the fauna from the western Pacific, as well as with that from the Hawaiian Islands. This decrease in number of species in the Pacific from west to east is also observed in other benthic invertebrate groups.
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    Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Niue, Polynesia
    (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2006-07) Wetterer, James K.
    Niue is a single isolated island in Polynesia. Based on reexamination of specimens from an earlier study and unpublished specimen data, I removed three erroneous records from the list of known ants from Niue (Paratrechina flavipes, Pheidole mus, and Tetramorium bicarinatum), corrected one name (Monomorium liliuokalanii instead of Monomorium monomorium), and added one new species record (Vollenhovia samoensis). Of the 33 ant species I report from Niue, 18 are Indo-Pacific natives and 15 are exotics. The ant fauna of Niue is almost entirely a subset of the fauna of neighboring Tonga and Samoa. Of the ant species native to the Indo-Pacific region found in Niue, only one was not also known from both Tonga and Samoa. Most or all of the other 17 species seem likely to be native to Niue (i.e., predating human arrival). This is particularly apparent for a local endemic species, V. samoensis, which was once considered to be a Samoan endemic but is now also known from Tonga and Niue.
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    A New Eastern Limit of the Pacific Flying Fox, Pteropus tonganus (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae), in Prehistoric Polynesia: A Case of Possible Human Transport and Extirpation.
    (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2006-07) Weisler, Marshall I. ; Bollt, Robert ; Findlater, Amy
    Five bones, representing one adult of the Pacific Flying Fox, Pteropus tonganus, were recovered from an archaeological site on Rurutu (151_ 210 W, 22_ 270 S), Austral Islands, French Polynesia, making this the most eastern extension of the species. For the first time, flying fox bones from cultural deposits were directly dated by accelerator mass spectrometry, yielding an age of death between A.D. 1064 and 1155. Their stratigraphic position in an Archaic period archaeological site and the absence of bones in the late prehistoric to historic layers point to extirpation of the species. No flying fox bones were found in prehuman deposits and human transport of the species cannot be ruled out.
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    Population Dynamics of Marsilea villosa (Marsileaceae) on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i
    (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2006-07) Wester, Lyndon ; Delay, John ; Hoang, Lam ; Iida, Byron ; Kalodimos, Nicholas ; Wong, Tamara
    Marsilea villosa Kaulfuss is an endemic Hawaiian fern with a very small, fragmented natural range and an ephemeral habit that makes it difficult to assess population health. Its sporocarps are presumed to remain viable for many years, allowing it to survive periods of drought and then sexually reproduce when there is sufficient precipitation to cause them to be submerged in standing water. Surveys of plant cover at ‘Ihi‘ihilaua¯kea Crater, where the largest and best-protected stand was located, have shown that vigorous growth of the species occurs after the crater floor is flooded. This study documents dramatic decline over the last 8 yr, during which growth has been largely vegetative. Analyses of rainfall records suggest that events producing long-duration floods occur on average every 6.5 yr, yet 13 yr have elapsed since the last one. Although this may in part explain the poor condition of the population, other ecological changes have occurred including decline of the dominant trees and invasion of alien grasses that may influence flooding frequency. Marsilea villosa may be able to avoid extinction because flooding caused by rare climatic events will kill off the competitors that have encroached on its former ecological space. However, it is predicted to be a less-conspicuous part of the ecosystem most of the time unless management can effectively suppress invaders.