Vegetation component of geothermal EIS studies : introduced plants, ecosystem stability, and geothermal development

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Hawaii Research Station, Hawaii National Park, HI (United States), Fish and Wildlife Service
This paper contributes new information about the impacts from introduced plant invasions on the native Hawaiian vegetation as consequences of land disturbance and geothermal development activities. In this regard, most geothermal development is expected to act as another recurring source of physical disturbance which favors the spread and maintenance of introduced organisms throughout the region. Where geothermal exploration and development activities extend beyond existing agricultural and residential development, they will become the initial or sole source of disturbance to the naturalized vegetation of the area. Kilauea has a unique ecosystem adapted to the dynamics of a volcanically active landscape. The characteristics of this ecosystem need to be realized in order to understand the major threats to the ecosystem and to evaluate the effects of and mitigation for geothermal development in Puna. The native Puna vegetation is well adapted to disturbances associated with volcanic eruption, but it is ill-adapted to compete with alien plant species in secondary disturbances produced by human activities. Introduced plant and animal species have become a major threat to the continued presence of the native biota in the Puna region of reference.
Report Number: DOE/OR/22088--T2; OSTI ID: 72931; Legacy ID: DE95013080
Puna, Hawaii Geothermal Project, Puna, Big Island, plants, Hawaii, Kilauea
1994. Vegetation Component of Geothermal EIS Studies: Introduced Plants, Ecosystem Stability, and Geothermal Development. Hawaii National Park (HI): Hawaii Research Station, Hawaii National Park, HI (United States), Fish and Wildlife Service.
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