Stripping of Acacia koa Bark by Rats on Hawaii and Maui

Date
1984-01
Authors
Scowcroft, Paul G.
Sakai, Howard F.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Hawai'i Press
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.
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Citation
Scowcroft PG, Sakai HF. 1984. Stripping of Acacia koa bark by rats on Hawaii and Maui. Pac Sci 38(1): 80-86.
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