Plant Invasions in Protected Areas

Volume 7 of the series Invading Nature - Springer Series in Invasion Ecology pp 313-348


Plant Invasions in Protected Areas of Tropical Pacific Islands, with Special Reference to Hawaii

  • Lloyd L. LoopeAffiliated withUSGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, Haleakala Field Station Email author 
  • , R. Flint HughesAffiliated withUSDA Forest Service, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry
  • , Jean-Yves MeyerAffiliated withDélégation à la Recherche, Government of French Polynesia

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Isolated tropical islands are notoriously vulnerable to plant invasions. Serious management for protection of native biodiversity in Hawaii began in the 1970s, arguably at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Concerted alien plant management began there in the 1980s and has in a sense become a model for protected areas throughout Hawaii and Pacific Island countries and territories. We review the relative successes of their strategies and touch upon how their experience has been applied elsewhere. Protected areas in Hawaii are fortunate in having relatively good resources for addressing plant invasions, but many invasions remain intractable, and invasions from outside the boundaries continue from a highly globalised society with a penchant for horticultural novelty. There are likely few efforts in most Pacific Islands to combat alien plant invasions in protected areas, but such areas may often have fewer plant invasions as a result of their relative remoteness and/or socio-economic development status. The greatest current needs for protected areas in this region may be for establishment of yet more protected areas, for better resources to combat invasions in Pacific Island countries and territories, for more effective control methods including biological control programme to contain intractable species, and for meaningful efforts to address prevention and early detection of potential new invaders.


Feral ungulates Grass-fire cycle Haleakala National Park Hawaii Volcanoes National Park National Park of American Samoa South-eastern Polynesia