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Stripping of Acacia koa Bark by Rats on Hawaii and Maui

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Title: Stripping of Acacia koa Bark by Rats on Hawaii and Maui
Authors: Scowcroft, Paul G.
Sakai, Howard F.
Issue Date: Jan 1984
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Scowcroft PG, Sakai HF. 1984. Stripping of Acacia koa bark by rats on Hawaii and Maui. Pac Sci 38(1): 80-86.
Abstract: Koa (Acacia koa) is the most valuable native timber species in
Hawaii. Bark stripping of young trees by rats, a common but unstudied phenomenon,
may affect survival, growth, and quality of koa. Up to 54% of the trees
sampled in 4- to 6-year-old stands in the Laupahoehoe and Waiakea areas on
Hawaii were wounded by rats; only 5% of trees sampled in a l-year-old stand on
Borge Ridge, Maui, were wounded. Wounds were generally long and narrow.
Complete girdling was not observed, and direct mortality seemed low. However,
indirect effects of damage-deformation of stems, infection by pathogens, and
premature death-require further study. Because only young trees seem susceptible
to bark stripping, rodent control may be desirable during the first 5 years
of koa stand growth.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 38, Number 1, 1984

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