Skip to main content

Invasion and management of alien Hedychium gardnerianum (kahili ginger, Zingiberaceae) alter plant species composition of a montane rainforest on the island of Hawai’i

Abstract

Hedychium gardnerianum is a major invader of native Hawaiian forests and suspected of smothering native understory species and preventing native tree seedlings’ establishment. In this study, effects on species composition in six vegetation layers of a Hawaiian rainforest were examined (Tree Layer 1, Tree Layer 2, Fern-Shrub Layer, Herb Layer, Bryophyte–Herb Layer, and Bryophyte Layer). Three different area types were compared, which included (i) Natural area types with no influence of non-native species, (ii) Ginger area types with a Hedychium gardnerianum dominated herb layer, and (iii) Cleared area types, which were treated with herbicide to remove alien species in 1998. Species composition sampled in 2004 of the upper three vegetation layers (Tree Layer 1, Tree Layer 2, and Fern-Shrub Layer) differed little. The lower three vegetation layers (Herb Layer, Bryophyte–Herb Layer, and Bryophyte Layer) showed highly significant differences. Species composition in the Ginger area types showed notable abundances of non-native Psidium cattleianum, but low coverage of native species. In the area freed of Hedychium gardnerianum (Cleared area types), native species are regenerating, although it still reveals signs of disturbance. If this area is managed to prevent reinvasion, then it is likely to regain a natural forest structure.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  1. Anderson RC, Gardner DE (1999) An evaluation of the wilt-causing bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum as a potential biological control agent for the alien kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum) in Hawaiian forests. Biol Control 15:89–96

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Asner GP, Vitousek PM (2005) Remote analysis of biological invasion and biogeochemical change. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102:4383–4386

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Boehmer HJ (2005) Dynamik und Invasibilitaet des montanen Regenwaldes auf der Insel Hawaii (Dynamics and Invasibility of Hawaii′s Montane Rainforest). Habilitation Thesis, TU Muenchen, Munich

  4. Boehmer HJ, Heger T, Trepl L (2001) Case studies on alien species in Germany - Robinia pseudoacacia, Reynoutria japonica, Senecio inaequidens, Dreissena polymorpha, Ondatra zibethicus, Mustela vison. Umweltbundesamt, Berlin

    Google Scholar 

  5. Burton PJ (1982) The effect of temperature and light on Metrosideros polymorpha seed germination. Pac Sci 36:229–240

    Google Scholar 

  6. Burton PJ, Mueller-Dombois D (1984) Response of Metrosideros polymorpha seedlings to experimental canopy opening. Ecology 65:779–791

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Corn CA (1972) Seed dispersal methods in Hawaiian Metrosideros. In: Behnke JA (ed) Challenging biological problems: directions towards their solution. Oxford University Press, New York, USA, pp 422–435

    Google Scholar 

  8. Corn CA (1979) Variation in Hawaiian Metrosideros. University of Hawaii, Honolulu

    Google Scholar 

  9. Cronk CB, Fuller JL (1995) Plant invaders: the threat to natural ecosystems. Chapman Hall, London

    Google Scholar 

  10. Cross JR (1982) The invasion and impact of Rhododendron in native Irish vegetation. In: White J (ed) Studies on Irish vegetation. Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, pp 209–220

    Google Scholar 

  11. D’Antonio CM, Hughes RF, Mack M, Hitchcock D, Vitousek PM (1998) The response of native species to removal of invasive exotic grasses in a seasonally dry Hawaiian woodland. J Veg Sci 9:699–712

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Dierschke H (1994) Pflanzensoziologie: Grundlagen und Methoden. Ulmer, Stuttgart

    Google Scholar 

  13. Drake DR (1992) Seed dispersal of Metrosideros polymorpha (Myrtaceae) – a pioneer tree of Hawaiian lava flows. Am J Bot 79:1224–1228

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Drake DR, Pratt LW (2001) Seedling mortality in Hawaiian rain forest: the role of small-scale physical disturbance. Biotropica 33:319–323

    Google Scholar 

  15. Field C, Mooney HA (1986) The photosynthesis–nitrogen relationship in wild plants. In: Givnish TJ (ed) On the economy of plant form and function. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 25–55

    Google Scholar 

  16. Fosberg FR, Sachet M-H, Oliver R (1987) A geographical checklist of the Micronesian monocotyledonae. Micronesia 20:1–126

    Google Scholar 

  17. Grubb PJ, Tanner EVJ (1976) The montane forests and soils of Jamaica: a reassessment. J Arnold Arbor 57:313–368

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Harris R, Steward C, Syrett P (1996) Wild ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum): prospects for biological control. Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd., Lincoln

    Google Scholar 

  19. Hoffmann GM (1961) Die Stickstoffbindung der Robinie (Robinia psedoacacia L.). Arch fuer Forstwes 10:627–631

    Google Scholar 

  20. Holm S (1979) A simple sequentially rejective multiple test procedure. Scand J Stat 6:65–70

    Google Scholar 

  21. Huenneke LF, 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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Jurko A (1963) Die Veraenderungen der urspruenglichen Waldvegetation durch die Introduktion der Robinie. Ceskoslovensá Ochrana Prirody 1:56–75

    Google Scholar 

  23. Kowarik I (2003) Biologische Invasionen: Neophyten und Neozoen in Mitteleuropa. Ulmer, Stuttgart

    Google Scholar 

  24. Lepš J, Šmilauer P (2003) Multivariate analysis of ecological data using CANOCO. Oxford University Press, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  25. Macdonald IAW, Thebaud C, Strahm WA, Strasberg D (1991) Effects of alien plant invasions on native vegetation remnants on La Réunion (Mascarene-Islands, Indian-Ocean). Environ Conserv 18:51–61

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Mackee HS (1994) Catalogue des plantes introduites et cultivées en Nouvelle-Calédonie. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris

    Google Scholar 

  27. Mastin, LG, Christiansen, RL, Swanson, DA, Stauffer, PH, Hendley II JW (1999) Explosive eruptions at Kilauea Volcano, Hawai’i? USGS Fact Sheet-132-98

  28. Medeiros AC, Loope LL, Anderson SJ (1993) Differential colonization by epiphytes on native (Cibotium spp.) and alien (Cyathea cooperi) tree ferns in a Hawaiian rain forest. Selbyana 14:71–74

    Google Scholar 

  29. Mueller-Dombois D (1987) Forest dynamics in Hawaii. Trends Ecol Evol 2:216–220

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Mueller-Dombois D (2000a) Succession and zonation in the Hawaiian Islands. In: White PS (ed) Vegetation science in retrospect and perspective: proceedings of the 41st IAVS symposium, Uppsala. Opulus Press, Uppsala, pp 203–206

    Google Scholar 

  31. Mueller-Dombois D (2000b) Succession and zonation of vegetation in the volcanic mountains of the Hawaiian Islands. Acta Phytogeogr Suecica 85:31–40

    Google Scholar 

  32. Mueller-Dombois, D, Bridges, KW, Carson, HL (1981) Island ecosystems: biological organization in selected Hawaiian communities. US/IBP Synthesis Series 15. Hutchinson-Ross Publ. Co., Stroudsburg. Distributed by Academic Press

  33. Naik VN, Panigrahi G (1961) Genus Hedychium in eastern India. Bull Bot Surv India 3:67–73

    Google Scholar 

  34. Neser S (1980) Silky hakea. In: Stirton CH (ed) Plant invaders: beautiful but dangerous. Cape Town Department of Nature Conservation, Cape Town, pp 76–77

    Google Scholar 

  35. Office of Technology Assessment U.S.C. (1993) Harmful nonindigenous species in the United States. US Congress - US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

  36. Palmer DD (2003) Hawai’i’s ferns and fern allies. University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu

    Google Scholar 

  37. Santiago LS (2000) Use of coarse woody debris by the plant community of a Hawaiian montane cloud forest. Biotropica 32:633–641

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Schaal S (1993) Draft of the english version of the Ginger Project. University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen

    Google Scholar 

  39. Smith A (1979) Flora Vitiensis nova: a new flora of Fiji. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii

    Google Scholar 

  40. Smith, CW (1985) Impact of alien plants on Hawai’i’s native biota. In: Stone CP, Scott JM (eds) Hawai’i’s terrestrial ecosystems, preservation and management: proceedings of a symposium held June 5–6, 1984 at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. University of Hawai’i Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, Honolulu, pp 180–250

  41. Space JC, Flynn T (2002) Report to the Government of the Cook Islands on invasive plant species of environmental concern. USDA Forest Service, Honolulu

    Google Scholar 

  42. Staples GW, Imada CT, Hoe WJ, Smith CW (2004) A revised checklist of Hawaiian mosses. Trop Bryol 25:35–69

    Google Scholar 

  43. Stone CP, Pratt LW (1994) Hawai’i’s plants and animals: biological sketches of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. University of Hawai’i, Cooperative National Park Resources Studies, Honolulu

    Google Scholar 

  44. Ter Braak JF, Šmilauer P (2002) CANOCO reference manual and CanoDraw for windows user’s guide: software for canonical community ordination (version 4.5). Biometrics, Wageningen, The Netherlands

    Google Scholar 

  45. Van der Maarel E (1979) Multivariate methods in phytosociology, with reference to the Netherlands. In: Werger MJA (ed) The study of vegetation. Junk, The Hague, pp 161–225

    Google Scholar 

  46. Vitousek PM (1986) Biological invasions and ecosystem properties: can species make a difference? In: Mooney HA, Drake JA (eds) Ecology of biological invasions of North America and Hawaii. Springer, New York, pp 163–178

    Google Scholar 

  47. Vitousek PM (2004) Nutrient cycling and limitation: Hawai’i as a model system. Princeton University Press, Princeton

    Google Scholar 

  48. Vitousek PM, Walker LR (1989) Biological invasion by Myrica faya in Hawai’i: plant demography, nitrogen fixation, and ecosystem effects. Ecol Monogr 59:247–265

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Vitousek PM, Walker LR, Whiteaker LD, Mueller-Dombois D, Matson PA (1987) Biological invasion of Myrica faya alters ecosystem development in Hawai’i. Science 238:802–804

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  50. Vitousek PM, Gerrish G, Turner DR, Walker LR, Mueller-Dombois D (1995) Litterfall and nutrient cycling in four Hawaiian montane rainforests. J Trop Ecol 11:189–203

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Vitousek PM, Mooney HA, Lubchenko J, Melillo JM (1997) Human domination of Earth’s ecosystems. Science 277:494–499

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  52. Wagner WL, Herbst DR, Sohmer SH (1999) Manual of the flowering plants of Hawai’i. Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu

    Google Scholar 

  53. Wester L (1992) Origin and distribution of adventive alien flowering plants in Hawaii. In: Stone CP, Smith CW, Tunison JT (eds) Alien plant invasions in native ecosystems of Hawai’i: management and research. Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University at Manoa, Honolulu, pp 99–154

    Google Scholar 

  54. Western Regional Climate Center (2009) Hawaii Volcns NP HQ 54, Hawai’i (511303). www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?hihawa. Accessed 1 Mar 2009

  55. Williams PA, Winks C, Rijkse W (2003) Forest processes in the presence of wild ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum). N Z J Ecol 27:45–54

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) grant BO 1768 to H. J. Boehmer, Principal Investigator, and a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) grant D0334424 for Vanessa Minden. Permission to use the study sites was given by the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, U.S. Park Service. We thank Dieter Mueller-Dombois, Jim Jacobi, and Tim Tunison. Special thanks go to Bettina Orthmann for supporting statistical analysis, and to Catherine Reynolds for helpful comments on the manuscript.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Vanessa Minden.

Appendix

Appendix

See Table 3.

Table 3 Species abundance according to the Braun-Blanquet scaling (Table 1), species number and total vegetation cover (%) in six vegetation layers for three area types (N, C, and G; compare text)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Minden, V., Hennenberg, K.J., Porembski, S. et al. Invasion and management of alien Hedychium gardnerianum (kahili ginger, Zingiberaceae) alter plant species composition of a montane rainforest on the island of Hawai’i. Plant Ecol 206, 321 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11258-009-9645-9

Download citation

Keywords

  • Hawai’i
  • Hawaiian rainforest
  • Hedychium gardnerianum
  • Invasive alien species
  • Psidium cattleianum
  • Principal Component Analysis