Pacific Conservation Biology Pacific Conservation Biology Society
A journal dedicated to conservation and wildlife management in the Pacific region.
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Conservation value of koa (Acacia koa) reforestation areas on Hawaii Island

Laurie Strommer A C and Sheila Conant B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Zoology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.

B Department of Biology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.

C Corresponding author. Email: lestrommer@gmail.com

Pacific Conservation Biology - https://doi.org/10.1071/PC17046
Submitted: 9 October 2017  Accepted: 27 November 2017   Published online: 9 January 2018

Abstract

Efforts to restore forests for ecological and economic benefit in Hawaii are converging on koa (Acacia koa), an endemic dominant or codominant canopy tree common across broad elevation and moisture gradients. We quantified plant species composition and forest structure in koa reforestation areas (KRAs) and in nearby intact native forest on Hawaii Island. Total species richness and percentage native species richness were lower in the plantation forests than in the intact forests, although species richness in the KRAs at one site was not significantly different from that in intact forest. Tree, sapling, and seedling densities differed between KRAs and forest sites at one site. At another, the native forest and one KRA had similar tree and seedling densities and similar canopy height and percentage canopy cover. Total stand basal area was greatest in the intact forest at both sites, although the basal area for the KRAs at one site exceeded those for intact forest at the other. Koa plantings can be structurally similar to intact forests though species composition differs. Our results suggest that koa forestry can facilitate native understorey development in some cases.

Additional keywords: Hawaiian forest


References

Arroyo-Rodríguez, V., Melo, F. P. L., Martinez-Ramos, M., Bongers, F., Chazdon, R. L., Meave, J. A., Norden, N., Santos, B. A., Leal, I. R., and Tabarelli, M. (2015). Multiple successional pathways in human-modified tropical landscapes: new insights from forest succession, forest fragmentation and landscape ecology research. Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 92, 326–340.
Multiple successional pathways in human-modified tropical landscapes: new insights from forest succession, forest fragmentation and landscape ecology research.CrossRef |

Baker, P. J., Robinson, A. P., and Ewel, J. J. (2008). Sudden and sustained response of Acacia koa crop trees to crown release in stagnant stands. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 38, 656–666.
Sudden and sustained response of Acacia koa crop trees to crown release in stagnant stands.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD1cXmtVOnt70%3D&md5=8ac1d0a2564d9afd6452c8b9782550c7CAS |

Baker, P. J., Scowcroft, P. G., and Ewel, J. J. (2009). Koa (Koa) ecology and silviculture. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Albany, CA.

Belyea, L. R. (2004). Beyond ecological filters: feedback networks in the assembly and restoration of community structure. In ‘Assembly Rules and Restoration Ecology: Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice’. (Eds V. M. Temperton, R. J. Hobbs, T. Nuttle, and S. Halle.) pp. 115–132. (Island Press: Washington, DC.)

Belyea, L. R., and Lancaster, J. (1999). Assembly rules within a contingent ecology. Oikos 86, 402–416.
Assembly rules within a contingent ecology.CrossRef |

Byers, J. E., Cuddington, K., Jones, C. G., Talley, T. S., Hastings, A., Lambrinos, J. G., Crooks, J. A., and Wilson, W. G. (2006). Using ecosystem engineers to restore ecological systems. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 21, 493–500.
Using ecosystem engineers to restore ecological systems.CrossRef |

Cabin, R. J., Weller, S. G., Lorence, D. H., Cordell, S., and Hadway, L. J. (2002). Effects of microsite, water, weeding and direct seeding on the regeneration of native and alien species within a Hawaiian dry forest preserve. Biological Conservation 104, 181–190.
Effects of microsite, water, weeding and direct seeding on the regeneration of native and alien species within a Hawaiian dry forest preserve.CrossRef |

Conant, S. (1975). Spatial distribution of bird species on the east flank of Mauna Loa. Tech Report 74, Island Ecosystems International Research Program, U.S. International Biological Program, University of Hawaii, Honolulu.

Cuddihy, L. W., and Stone, C. P. (1990). ‘Alteration of Native Hawaiian Vegetation: Effects of Humans, their Activities and Introductions.’ (University of Hawaii Press: Honolulu.)

Denslow, J. S., Uowolo, A. L., and Hughes, R. F. (2006). Limitations to seedling establishment in a mesic Hawaiian forest. Oecologia 148, 118–128.
Limitations to seedling establishment in a mesic Hawaiian forest.CrossRef |

Ewel, J. (1980). Tropical succession: manifold routes to maturity. Biotropica 12, 2–7.
Tropical succession: manifold routes to maturity.CrossRef |

Friday, J. B., J. F. Yangida, P. Illukpitiya, R. J. Mamiit, and Q. Edwards. (2006). Characteristics of Hawaii’s Retail Forest Industry in 2001. Economic Issues, Cooperative Extension Service, CTAHR: 1–3.

Gagne, W. C. (1979). Canopy-associated arthropods in Acacia koa and Metrosideros tree communities along an altitudinal transect on Hawaii island. Pacific Insects 21, 56–82.

Garrison, J. S. E. (2003). The role of alien tree plantations and avian seed-dispersers in native dry forest restoration in Hawaii. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Hawaii, Manoa.

Goldman, R. L., Pejchar Goldstein, L., and Daily, G. C. (2008). Assessing the conservation value of a human-dominated island landscape: plant diversity in Hawaii. Biodiversity and Conservation 17, 1765–1781.
Assessing the conservation value of a human-dominated island landscape: plant diversity in Hawaii.CrossRef |

Goldsmith, S., Gillespie, H., and Weatherby, C. (2007). Restoration of Hawaiian montane wet forest: endemic longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae: Plagithmysus) in koa (Fabaceae: Koa) plantations and in intact forest. The Southwestern Naturalist 52, 356–363.
Restoration of Hawaiian montane wet forest: endemic longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae: Plagithmysus) in koa (Fabaceae: Koa) plantations and in intact forest.CrossRef |

Goldstein, J. H., Daily, G. C., Friday, J. B., Matson, P. A., and Naylor, R. L. (2006). Business strategies for conservation on private lands: koa forestry as a case study. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103, 10140–10145.
Business strategies for conservation on private lands: koa forestry as a case study.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD28XmvVaisrk%3D&md5=1e309115504f353ab3c0d42a1273287cCAS |

Grace, L. T. (1995). Analysis and prediction of growth, grazing impacts, and economic production of Acacia koa. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Guariguata, M. R., Rheingans, R., and Montagnini, F. (1995). Early woody invasion under tree plantations in Costa Rica: implications for forest restoration. Restoration Ecology 3, 252–260.
Early woody invasion under tree plantations in Costa Rica: implications for forest restoration.CrossRef |

Holl, K. D., Loik, M. E., Lin, E. H. V., and Samuels, I. A. (2000). Tropical montane forest restoration in Costa Rica: overcoming barriers to dispersal and establishment. Restoration Ecology 8, 339–349.
Tropical montane forest restoration in Costa Rica: overcoming barriers to dispersal and establishment.CrossRef |

Kirch, P. V. (1982). The impact of the prehistoric Polynesians on the Hawaiian ecosystem. Pacific Science 36, 1–14.

Lamb, D. (1998). Large-scale ecological restoration of degraded tropical forest lands: the potential role of timber plantations. Restoration Ecology 6, 271–279.
Large-scale ecological restoration of degraded tropical forest lands: the potential role of timber plantations.CrossRef |

Lamb, D., Erskine, P. D., and Parrotta, J. A. (2005). Restoration of degraded tropical forest landscapes. Science 310, 1628–1632.
Restoration of degraded tropical forest landscapes.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2MXhtlSntb%2FN&md5=c31a4cfa23fa3d9d7d02fc072c936ac1CAS |

Lockwood, J. L., and Pimm, S. L. (1999). When does restoration succeed? In ‘Ecological Assembly Rules: Perspectives, Advances, Retreats’. (Eds E. Weiher and P. Keddy.) pp. 363–392. (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.)

Loudat, T. A., and Kanter, R. (1996). The economics of commercial koa culture in Hawaii. In ‘Koa: a Decade of Growth’. (Eds L. Ferentinos and D. O. Evans.) pp. 124–147. Proceedings of the Symposium. (Hawaii Forest Industry Association: Honolulu.)

MacMahon, J. A., and Holl, K. D. (2001). Ecological restoration: a key to conservation biology’s future. In ‘Conservation Biology: Research Priorities for the Next Decade’. (Eds M. E. Soule and G. H. Orians.) pp. 245–269. (Island Press: Washington.)

McCune, B., and Grace, J. B. (2002). ‘Analysis of Ecological Communities.’ (MjM Software Design: Gleneden Beach, OR.)

Mueller-Dombois, D., and Ellenberg, H. (1974). ‘Aims and Methods of Vegetation Ecology.’ (John Wiley and Sons, Inc.: New York.)

Mueller-Dombois, D., and Fosberg, F. R. (1998). ‘Vegetation of the Tropical Pacific Islands.’ (Springer Verlag: New York.)

Norden, N., Angarita, H. A., Bongers, F., Martinez-Ramos, M., Granzow-de la Cerda, I., van Breugel, M., Lebrija-Trejos, E., Meave, J. A., Vanderneer, J., Williamson, G. B., Finegan, B., Mesquita, R., and Chazdon, R. L. (2015). Successional dynamics in Neotropical forests are as uncertain as they are predictable. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112, 8013–8018.
Successional dynamics in Neotropical forests are as uncertain as they are predictable.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC2MXhtVSit7zF&md5=6e739ba4a33cf6664f965e5cbf0225b9CAS |

Nuttle, T., Hobbs, R. J., Temperton, V. M., and Halle, S. (2004). Assembly rules and ecosystem restoration: where to from here? In ‘Assembly Rules and Restoration Ecology: Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice’. (Eds V. M. Temperton, R. J. Hobbs, T. Nuttle, and S. Halle.) pp. 410–421. (Island Press: Washington, DC.)

Ostertag, R., Giardina, C. P., and Cordell, S. (2008). Understory colonization of Eucalyptus plantations in Hawaii in relation to light and nutrient levels. Restoration Ecology 16, 475–485.
Understory colonization of Eucalyptus plantations in Hawaii in relation to light and nutrient levels.CrossRef |

Parrotta, J. A. (1995). Influence of overstory composition on understory colonization by native species in plantations on a degraded tropical site. Journal of Vegetation Science 6, 627–636.
Influence of overstory composition on understory colonization by native species in plantations on a degraded tropical site.CrossRef |

Pearson, H. L., and Vitousek, P. M. (2001). Stand dynamics, nitrogen accumulation, and symbiotic nitrogen fixation in regenerating stands of Acacia koa. Ecological Applications 11, 1381–1394.
Stand dynamics, nitrogen accumulation, and symbiotic nitrogen fixation in regenerating stands of Acacia koa.CrossRef |

Pejchar, L., and Press, D. M. (2006). Achieving conservation objectives through production forestry: the case of Acacia koa on Hawaii Island. Environmental Science & Policy 9, 439–447.
Achieving conservation objectives through production forestry: the case of Acacia koa on Hawaii Island.CrossRef |

Pejchar, L., Holl, K. D., and Lockwood, J. L. (2005). Home range size varies with habitat type in a Hawaiian honeycreeper: implications for native Acacia koa forestry. Ecological Applications 15, 1053–1061.
Home range size varies with habitat type in a Hawaiian honeycreeper: implications for native Acacia koa forestry.CrossRef |

Pratt, T. K., Fancy, S. G., and Ralph, C. J. (2001). Akiapolaau (Hemignathus munroi) and nukupuu (Hemignathus lucidus). In ‘The Birds of North America‘. (Eds A. Poole and F. Gill.) Available at: https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/akiapo/introduction [accessed 5 October 2017].

Santiago, L. S. (2000). Use of coarse woody debris by the plant community of a Hawaiian montane cloud forest. Biotropica 32, 633–641.
Use of coarse woody debris by the plant community of a Hawaiian montane cloud forest.CrossRef |

Scott, J. M., Mountainspring, S., Ramsey, F. L., and Kepler, C. (1986). ‘Forest Bird Communities of the Hawaiian Islands: their Dynamics, Ecology and Conservation.’ (Cooper Ornithological Society: Camarillo, CA.)

Scowcroft, P. G., and Jeffrey, J. (1999). Potential significance of frost, topographic relief, and Acacia koa stands to restoration of mesic Hawaiian forests on abandoned rangeland. Forest Ecology and Management 114, 447–458.
Potential significance of frost, topographic relief, and Acacia koa stands to restoration of mesic Hawaiian forests on abandoned rangeland.CrossRef |

Scowcroft, P. G., Meinzer, F. C., Goldstein, G., Melcher, P. J., and Jeffrey, J. (2000). Moderating night radiative cooling reduces frost damage to Metrosideros polymorpha seedlings used for forest restoration in Hawaii. Restoration Ecology 8, 161–169.
Moderating night radiative cooling reduces frost damage to Metrosideros polymorpha seedlings used for forest restoration in Hawaii.CrossRef |

Scowcroft, P. G., Friday, J. B., Idol, T., Dudley, N., Haraguchi, J., and Meason, D. (2007). Growth response of Acacia koa trees to thinning, grass control, and phosphorus fertilization in a secondary forest in Hawaii. Forest Ecology and Management 239, 69–80.
Growth response of Acacia koa trees to thinning, grass control, and phosphorus fertilization in a secondary forest in Hawaii.CrossRef |

Scowcroft, P. G., Haraguchi, J. E., and Fujii, D. M. (2008). Understory structure in a 23-year-old koa forest and 2-year growth responses to silvicultural treatments. Forest Ecology and Management 255, 1604–1617.
Understory structure in a 23-year-old koa forest and 2-year growth responses to silvicultural treatments.CrossRef |

Suding, K. N., Gross, K. L., and Houseman, G. R. (2004). Alternative states and positive feedback in restoration ecology. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 19, 46–53.
Alternative states and positive feedback in restoration ecology.CrossRef |

Temperton, V. M., and Hobbs, R. J. (2004). The search for ecological assembly rules and its relevance to restoration ecology. In ‘Assembly Rules and Restoration Ecology: Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice’. (Eds V. M. Temperton, R. J. Hobbs, T. Nuttle, and S. Halle.) pp. 34–54. (Island Press: Washington, DC.)

Temperton, V. M., and Zirr, K. (2004). Order of arrival and availability of safe sites: an example of their importance for plant community assembly in stressed ecosystems. In ‘Assembly Rules and Restoration Ecology: Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice’. (Eds V. M. Temperton, R. J. Hobbs, T. Nuttle, and S. Halle.) pp. 285–304. (Island Press: Washington, DC.)

Tunison, J. T., McKinney, A. A., and Markiewicz, W. L. (1995). The expansion of koa forest after cattle and goat removal in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Technical Report 99, Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu.

USDA (2003). Introduced, invasive and noxious plants: Hawaii State-listed noxious weeds. National Resources Conservation Service. Available at: https://plants.usda.gov/java/noxious?rptType=State&statefips=15 [accessed 5 November 2017].

USFWS (2008). Threatened and endangered species database. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Available at: https://www.fws.gov/endangered/ [accessed 21 March 2009].

Wagner, W. L., Herbst, D. R., and Sohmer, S. H. (1990). ‘Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii.’ (University of Hawaii Press & Bishop Museum Press: Honolulu.)

Wilkinson, K. M., and Elevitch, C. R. (2003). ‘Growing Koa: A Hawaiian Legacy Tree.’ (Permanent Agriculture Resources: Holualoa, HI.)

Young, T. P., Chase, J. M., and Huddleston, R. T. (2001). Community succession and assembly: comparing, contrasting and combining paradigms in the context of ecological restoration. Ecological Restoration 19, 5–18.
Community succession and assembly: comparing, contrasting and combining paradigms in the context of ecological restoration.CrossRef |

Zanne, A. E., and Chapman, C. A. (2001). Expediting reforestation in tropical grasslands: distance and isolation from seed sources in plantations. Ecological Applications 11, 1610–1621.
Expediting reforestation in tropical grasslands: distance and isolation from seed sources in plantations.CrossRef |

Ziegler, A. C. (2002). ‘Hawaiian Natural History, Ecology and Evolution.’ (University of Hawaii Press: Honolulu.)



Export Citation