Advertisement

Long-term decline of native tropical dry forest remnants in an invaded Hawaiian landscape

  • Joshua HibitEmail author
  • Curtis C. Daehler
Original Paper
  • 25 Downloads
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Forest and plantation biodiversity

Abstract

Tropical dry forests are among the most threatened vegetation types as a result of human activities, yet relatively few datasets exist that give insight into the long-term impacts of human activity in these diverse biomes, especially in insular systems. In this study we revisited remnant dry forest patches previously surveyed in 1950 and 1970 in the Mokulēʻia Forest Reserve on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi to assess long-term native woody species’ persistence. Between June 2016 and May 2017 we resurveyed the seven original remnants and found that natives declined in basal area in every plot except one, and maintained basal area dominance over non-natives in only three of seven plots. There was a dramatic decline in the richness of native woody species in 2017 (10 species), when compared with observations in 1950 (27 species) and 1970 (32 species). Natives experienced substantial declines in densities, and the greatest reductions in basal area and species richness occurred in plots which previously had the highest native diversity. Only the most common native species were able to maintain their populations, and they are aging. At the same time, non-native woody species richness increased from 1950 (3 species) to 1970 (7 species) to 2017 (13 species). Non-native relative basal area also increased substantially from 1950 (9%) and 1970 (5%), to where it nearly equals native basal area currently (49%). These results indicate that despite there being no obvious change in disturbance levels since these areas were last surveyed, native Hawaiian dry forest remnants are being invaded by nearby non-natives, and will likely continue to decline if not supported by active management.

Keywords

Hawaiʻi Native plants Invasive species Dry forest Succession Long-term impacts 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Kristina May for her assistance in the field. We thank the Hawaiʻi Department of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) for permitting access to our research sites, especially Jenna Masters, who was very helpful in arranging access for restricted access roads. We also thank Don Drake, Travis Idol, and Mark Merlin for their feedback which helped us to improve earlier versions of our manuscript. Finally we thank the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Botany Department and the Ecology Evolution and Conservation Biology (EECB) program for their generous financial support in the form of the Charles H. Lamoureux Fellowship in Plant Conservation and the Watson T. Yoshimoto Fellowship in Wildlife Conservation, respectively.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10531_2019_1748_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (504 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 504 kb)
10531_2019_1748_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (515 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 515 kb)

References

  1. Cabin RJ, Weller SG, Lorence DH et al (2000) Effects alien of ungulate on exclusion and recent species of control the preservation tropical dry restoration a Hawaiian. Conserv Biol 14:439–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Carlquist S (1965) Island life: a natural history of the Islands of the World. Natural History Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Chimera CG, Drake DR (2010) Patterns of seed dispersal and dispersal failure in a Hawaiian dry forest having only introduced birds. Biotropica 42:493–502.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-7429.2009.00610.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chimera CG, Drake DR (2011) Could poor seed dispersal contribute to predation by introduced rodents in a Hawaiian dry forest? Biol Invasions 13:1029–1042.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-010-9887-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chynoweth M, Lepczyk CA, Litton CM, Cordell S (2010) Feral goats in the Hawaiian Islands: understanding the behavioral ecology of nonnative ungulates with GPS and remote sensing technology. In: 24th vertebrate pest conference, pp 41–45Google Scholar
  6. Coulter JW (1931) Population and utilization of land and sea in Hawaii, 1853. Bernice P. Bishop Museum.Google Scholar
  7. Daehler CC, Denslow JS, Ansari S, Kuo HC (2004) A risk-assessment system for screening out invasive pest plants from Hawaii and other Pacific Islands. Conserv Biol 18:360–368.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2004.00066.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Degener O (1930) Illustrated guide to the more common or noteworthy ferns and flowering plants of Hawaii National Park: with descriptions of ancient Hawaiian customs and an introduction to the geologic history of the islandsGoogle Scholar
  9. Denslow JS, Uowolo AL, Flint Hughes R (2006) Limitations to seedling establishment in a mesic Hawaiian forest. Oecologia 148:118–128.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-005-0342-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Egler FE (1942) Indigene versus alien in the development of arid Hawaiian vegetation. Ecology 23:14–23.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1930868 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Emery SM (2007) Limiting similarity between invaders and dominant species in herbaceous plant communities? J Ecol 95:1027–1035.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2745.2007.01274.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Foster Huenneke L, Vitousek PM (1990) Seedling and clonal recruitment of the invasive tree Psidium cattleianum: implications for management of native Hawaiian forests. Biol Conserv 53:199–211.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0006-3207(90)90086-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Giambelluca TW, Chen Q, Frazier AG et al (2013) Online rainfall atlas of Hawai’i. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 94:313–316.  https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00228.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Giambelluca TW, Shuai X, Barnes ML, et al (2014) Evapotranspiration of Hawai‘i. Final report submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers—Honolulu District, and the Commission on Water Resource Management, State of Hawai‘iGoogle Scholar
  15. Gillespie TW, Keppel G, Pau S et al (2011) Floristic composition and natural history characteristics of dry forests in the Pacific. Pac Sci 65:127–141.  https://doi.org/10.2984/65.2.127 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Graham NR, Gruner DS, Lim JY, Gillespie RG (2017) Island ecology and evolution: challenges in the Anthropocene. Environ Conserv 44:323–335.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0376892917000315 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hatheway W (1952) Composition of certain native dry forests: Mokuleia, Oahu, TH. Ecol Monogr 22:153–168.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1943515 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization (2013) Hawaii state wildfire history data set. http://gis.ctahr.hawaii.edu/WildfireHistory
  19. Hobbs RJ, Richard J, Higgs E, Hall CM (2013) Novel ecosystems: intervening in the new ecological world order. Wiley, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Howarth FG, Stone CP, Scott JM (1985) Impacts of alien land arthropods and mollusks on native plants and animals in Hawaii. Hawaii’s Terrestrial Ecosystems: Preservation and Management, University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, pp 149–179Google Scholar
  21. Janzen DH (1988) Management of habitat fragments in a tropical dry forest: growth. Ann Missouri Bot Gard 75:105.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2399468 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Leak WB (2002) Origin of sigmoid diameter distributions. US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research StationGoogle Scholar
  23. Medeiros AC, Vonallmen E, Fukada M et al (2008) Impact of the newly arrived seed-predating beetle Specularius impressithorax (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae) in Hawai’i. Pac Conserv Biol 14:7–12.  https://doi.org/10.1071/PC080007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Merlin MD, Juvik JO (1992) Relationships among native and alien plants on Pacific islands with and without significant human disturbance and feral ungulates. In: Stone CP, Smith CW, Tunison JT (eds) Alien plant invasions in native ecosystems of Hawai’i: management and research. Univ Hawai’i, Honolulu, pp 597–624Google Scholar
  25. Miles L, Newton AC, DeFries RS et al (2006) A global overview of the conservation status of tropical dry forests. J Biogeogr 33:491–505.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2005.01424.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mueller-Dombois D (1992) Distributional dynamics in the Hawaiian vegetation. Pac Sci 46:221–231Google Scholar
  27. Murphy P, Lugo A (1986) Ecology of tropical dry forest. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 17:57.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.es.17.110186.000435 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pau S, Gillespie TW, Price JP (2009) Natural history, biogeography, and endangerment of Hawaiian dry forest trees. Biodivers Conserv 18:3167–3182.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-009-9635-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Powell DC (2005) How to measure a big tree. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5202838.pdf
  30. Rock JF (1913) The indigenous trees of the Hawaiian Islands. Privately published, Honolulu, p 512Google Scholar
  31. Rubinoff D, Holland BS, Shibata A et al (2010) Rapid invasion despite lack of genetic variation in the erythrina gall wasp (Quadrastichus erythrinae Kim). Pac Sci 64:23–31.  https://doi.org/10.2984/64.1.023 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sakai AK, Wagner WL, Mehrhoff LA (2002) Patterns of endangerment in the Hawaiian flora. Syst Biol 51:276–302.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10635150252899770 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sandquist DR, Cordell S (2007) Functional diversity of carbon-gain, water-use, and leaf-allocation traits in trees of a threatened lowland dry forest in Hawaii. Am J Bot 94:1459–1469.  https://doi.org/10.3732/ajb.94.9.1459 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sax DF, Gaines SD, Brown JH (2002) Species invasions exceed extinctions on islands worldwide: a comparative study of plants and birds. Am Nat 160:766–783.  https://doi.org/10.1086/343877 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Selmants PC, Giardina CP, Jacobi JD, Zhu Z (2017) Baseline and projected future carbon storage and carbon fluxes in ecosystems of Hawai ‘i. US Department of the Interior, US Geological Survey, Reston, VAGoogle Scholar
  36. Shiels AB (2011) Frugivory by introduced black rats (Rattus rattus) promotes dispersal of invasive plant seeds. Biol Invasions 13:781–792.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-010-9868-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Stone CP (1985) Alien animals in Hawai’i’s native ecosystems: Toward controlling the adverse effects of introduced vertebrates. In: Hawaii’s Terr Ecosyst Preserv Manag Proc a Symp held June 5–6, 1984 Hawaii Volcanoes Natl Park, pp 251–2197Google Scholar
  38. Wirawan N (1974) Floristic and structural development of native dry forest stands at Mokuleia, NW Oahu. University of Hawaii, HonoluluGoogle Scholar
  39. Woodcock D (2003) To restore the watersheds: early twentieth-century tree planting in Hawai‘i. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 93:624–635.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8306.9303006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration CPHC Climatology of Tropical Cyclones in the Central Pacific Basin. http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/pages/climatology.php
  41. Zimmerman N, Hughes RF, Cordell S et al (2008) Patterns of primary succession of native and introduced plants in lowland wet forests in eastern Hawai’i. Biotropica 40:277–284.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-7429.2007.00371.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of Hawaiʻi at MānoaHonoluluUSA

Personalised recommendations