Navigation Links
Native plant restoration not enough to maintain tropical dry forests in Hawaii

Hilo, Hawaii.Protecting Hawaiian dry forests from invasive species and the risk of wildfire is an on-going challenge for land managers and scientists conducting research on the Island of Hawaii. It is commonly thought that removing the invasive species and planting native species will restore the land to its original state. However, in a recent paper published in Biological Invasions, Dr. Susan Cordell, USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry; Dr. Erin Questad, Cal-Poly Pomona; and Dr. Jarrod Thaxton, University of Puerto Rico found that it is not quite that simple.

The research team has been working at the Kaupulehu dry forest reserve on the Island of Hawaii for the past decade. The largest current threat to this highly unique and endangered ecosystem is the spread of non-native fire-promoting grasses, in particular, fountain grass or Pennisetum setaceum.

To test characteristics of ecosystem resilience in this dry tropical forest, the researchers allowed natural rates of re-invasion of non-native species into an existing restoration project and looked at how effective restoration projects were at enhancing invasion resistance. They paid particular attention to the relationship between invasibility and native plant diversity.

Key findings from the research include:

  • Higher invasion rates occurred in plots that supported the most native species, suggesting that similar mechanisms may regulate the distribution of both native and invasive species.

  • Fountain grass was associated with native plant mortality and declines in native diversity, particularly in areas with harsh environmental conditions (i.e. steep slopes, little soil, exposed terrain).

  • Native woody plant restoration alone was not an effective tool for weed control in this community, and continuing invasion may result in declines in native diversity in the long term.

"We have spent a considerable amount of time understanding the role of restoration on non-native plant invasion," says Dr. Cordell. "In the short term, restoration of native species serves to improve invasion resistance but results from this study also indicate that long-term sustainability of restoration projects will require continued non-native species management."

These findings suggest the need for consideration of long-term sustainability measures in restoration plans for tropical dry forest ecosystems in Hawaii.


Contact: Sherri Eng
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station

Related biology news :

1. Scripps Research Institute Scientists Develop Alternative to Gene Therapy
2. Study provides first evidence of coevolution between invasive, native species
3. Pasta made from green banana flour a tasty alternative for gluten-free diets
4. NIST launches new website to educate industry about alternatives to mercury thermometers
5. Divide the Antarctic to protect native species, propose experts
6. Hot sauce ingredient reduces beer belly fat as a weight-loss surgery alternative
7. Bacteria discovery could lead to antibiotics alternatives
8. Yeast cell reaction to Zoloft suggests alternative cause, drug target for depression
9. AZM alternatives for apple growers against codling moth
10. University of Minnesota invention helps advance reliability of alternative energy
11. LAMIS -- a green chemistry alternative for laser spectroscopy
Post Your Comments:
(Date:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) ... Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 ... sm . In addition, CHS previously earned a ... using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... level of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , Mar 24, 2017 Research and Markets ... System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... grow at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade ... industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Vehicle ... around 8.8% over the next decade to reach approximately $14.21 billion ... estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017 SomaGenics announced the ... NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to be ... small RNAs (including microRNAs) from single cells using NGS ... the need to accelerate development of approaches to analyze ... "New techniques for measuring levels of mRNAs ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature ... Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ... how to continue to feed a growing nation. At the same time, many of ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... , ... October 06, 2017 ... ... experience providing advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, ... in application consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of contract analysis ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... October 06, 2017 ... ... Cure) will host a lunch discussion and webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive ... INSIGhT Principal Investigator, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The event is free and open to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: