Distribution and abundance of alien and native plant species in Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park

Pratt, Linda W.
Abbott, Lyman L.
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Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Botany
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The vegetation of Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park was surveyed in 1992-93 as part of a monitoring study of plants, birds, mammals, and invertebrates in three Kona parks. Most previously identified major vegetation types were sampled. An updated vascular plant checklist was prepared; 116 vascular plant species were found within Kaloko-Honok6hau in 1992-93. Eighty (69%) plant species were alien, four (3%) were Polynesian introductions, 27 (23%) were indigenous, and five (4%) were endemic. Fifty-six species (46 aliens, 9 indigenous, and 1 endemic) were additions to the known flora of the Park since the previous plant checklist (Canfield 1990). The percentage cover of 11 invasive alien plant species was estimated in segments of belt transects and average estimated cover was mapped. Most of the invasive alien species in the Park were shrubs. Klu (Acacia farnesiana) was most abundant in the northern part of the Park, where its cover was usually >25%. Pickleweed (Batis maritima) was found only near the coast and ponds with variable cover; dense concentrations were observed off transect. Ekoa (Leucaena leucocephala) was the most widespread and abundant shrub in the Park. Ekoa cover was typically >25% in the northern third of the Park and was variable in the Park's southern reaches. 'Opiuma (Pithecellobium dulce) had little estimated cover and was most often seen in the northern third of the Park. Sourbush (Pluchea symphytifolia) was found near the coast and scattered with little cover on 'a'a flows in the center of the Park. Kiawe (Prosopis pallida) was widespread with little estimated cover except near fishponds and the coast; in coastal and wetland forests, kiawe had cover of 25-50% or >50%. Christmas berry (Schinus terebinthifolius) was distributed throughout the Park with estimated cover of 1-5% or less; areas of higher concentration were north of Kaloko and northwest of 'Aimakapa Pond. Fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) was nearly ubiquitous in Kaloko-Honokohau with highest estimated cover (>50%) in the northeastern and southern parts of the Park. Guinea grass (Panicum maximum) occurred primarily southeast of 'Aimakapa Pond and in the coastal forest and shrubland east of 'Ai'opio; estimated cover averaged 1-5%, but was locally higher. Two other invasive aliens were uncommon enough to be counted in or near belt transects. Ivy gourd (Coccinia grandis) was found on only one transect near Kaloko Pond, but nine individual vines were seen off transect near 'Aimakapa Pond. Only 10 prickly pear cactus (Opuntia fiscus-indica) were sighted from transects or trails. Several other alien plants of note were also mapped. Thirty-five native and Polynesian plant species were counted and mapped along belt transects, and densities per 1,000 m2 were calculated. Three candidate endangered species were found in the Park: ko'oko'olau (Bidens micrantha subsp. ctenophylla), maiapilo (Capparis sandwichiana), and Fimbristylis hawaiiensis. Only seven live ko'oko'olau shrubs were seen southeast of 'Aimakapa Pond. Three hundred twenty five maiapilo plants were found on transects and trails in Kaloko-Honokohau; the density of maiapilo on transects was 1.6 plants/1,000 m2. Fimbristylis hawaiiensis was discovered in only two localities near Kaloko Pond and near the anchialine pool called Kahinahina'ula; only ten individuals were sighted.
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Pratt LW, Abbott LL. 1996. Distribution and abundance of alien and native plant species in Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. Honolulu (HI): Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Botany. PCSU Technical Report, 103.
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