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'Ohi'a Dieback in Hawai'i: Vegetation Changes in Permanent Plots

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Title: 'Ohi'a Dieback in Hawai'i: Vegetation Changes in Permanent Plots
Authors: Jacobi, James D.
Gerrish, Grant
Mueller-Dombois, Dieter
Issue Date: Oct 1983
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Jacobi JD, Gerrish G, Mueller-Dombois D. 1983. 'Ohi'a dieback in Hawai'i: vegetation changes in permanent plots. Pac Sci 37(4): 327-337
Abstract: Approximately 50,000 ha of native '6hi'a (Metrosideros polymorpha
Gaud.) forest on the island of Hawai'i experienced a drastic reduction
(dieback) of the tree canopy between 1954 and 1977. Concern for the management
of this important native ecosystem has stimulated a great deal of research
on the Hawaiian dieback phenomenon. In this paper we address the question
of changes in the '6hi'a population after an area has experienced dieback.
Since 1976, we have established 62 400-m2vegetation sampling plots throughout
the dieback and adjacent nondieback forest areas on the island of Hawai'i.
The tall tree vigor and '6hi'a seedling and sapling growth were resamp1ed in
26 of these study plots in 1982. The results of the reassessment of the '6hi'a
populations indicate that the forest dieback has not spread appreciably since
1977. However, nearly all the plots located in areas that originally experienced a
drastic reduction of the tree canopy cover were found to have a large number
of '6hi'a seedlings and saplings. Based on this apparent high level of regeneration
following the initial canopy loss, we speculate that most of the forest
dieback areas will again develop a closed, tall-statured '6hi'a tree canopy.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 37, Number 4, 1983
Mueller-Dombois, Dieter

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