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Alien Ferns in Hawai'i

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Title:Alien Ferns in Hawai'i
Authors:Wilson, Kenneth A.
Date Issued:Apr 1996
Publisher:University of Hawaii Press
Citation:Wilson KA. 1996. Alien ferns in Hawai'i. Pac Sci 50(2): 127-141.
Abstract:Human activity has led to the naturalization of 30 species of
pteridophytes in the Hawaiian flora. The first record of naturalized ferns in
Hawai'i is in collections made in 1887. By 1950,21 species had become established.
Many of these species have spread into the native forests and are now
found on all the main Islands. Since then, nine additional alien species of ferns
and fern allies have been found growing in the wild. The naturalized ferns represent
fewer than 16% of the pteridophyte species in Hawai'i. Although some of
these species do not appear to be serious problems in the local ecosystem, others
are known to be having a pronounced impact. Some naturalized ferns are displacing
native species; others are hybridizing with native ferns; and still others
are invading native forests, crowding out the local vegetation, and posing a
serious threat to the Hawaiian ecosystem. Continued disturbance of the native
habitat and introduction of new alien plants contribute to successful invasion
of alien plants into the Hawaiian Islands. More than 260 species of alien
pteridophytes are in cultivation on the Islands, mostly in botanical gardens and
arboretums. These provide a reservoir of species for new additions to the local
flora. Programs need to be established to restrict the invasion of alien species
into the Hawaiian ecosystem.
Appears in Collections: Hawaii's Ferns and Fern Allies (Lycophytes) Collection
Pacific Science Volume 50, Number 2, 1996

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