Vegetation of the Wet Windward Slope of Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii

Kitayama, Kanehiro
Mueller-Dombois, Dieter
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University of Hawai'i Press
The vegetation on the wet windward slope of Haleakala was studied for community organization along a transect between 350 m a.s.l. and the summit (3055 m). The plant communities classified by the Braun-Blanquet synthesis table technique showed a hierarchical arrangement and were correlated with altitude. First, the forest and the treeless vegetation were differentiated by two major species groups. The boundary between the two was coincident with the trade wind inversion (ca. 1900 m a.s.l.) where the wet, low to mid-altitudinal climate changed abruptly upslope to an arid high-altitude one. These two wide-ranging vegetation types were subdivided into three units, corresponding to three broad altitudinal zones: the lowland, the montane, and the high-altitude zones. The three units were further partitioned into seven plant communities, which indicated six altitudinal subzones and one dieback belt. The floristic composition of the communities, the community structures, and their environmental relationships are briefly described with a summarized differential table. The depauperate and disharmonic nature of the Hawaiian flora is reflected in such altitudinal patterns as the low species turnover and the depressed forest line.
Kitayama K, Mueller-Dombois D. 1992. Vegetation of the wet windward slope of Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii. Pac Sci 46(2): 197-220.
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