You are here: Home
/ Publication Information
Title: Response of native Hawaiian woody species to lava-ignited wildfires in tropical forests and shrublands
Author: Ainsworth, Alison; Kauffman, J. Boone;
Source: Plant Ecology. 201(1): 197-209
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Description: Wildfires are rare in the disturbance history of Hawaiian forests but may increase in prevalence due to invasive species and global climate change. We documented survival rates and adaptations facilitating persistence of native woody species following 2002–2003 wildfires in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. Fires occurred during an El Niño drought and were ignited by lava flows. They burned across an environmental gradient occupied by two drier shrub-dominated communities and three mesic/wet Metrosideros forest communities. All the 19 native tree, shrub, and tree fern species demonstrated some capacity of postfire persistence. While greater than 95% of the dominant Metrosideros trees were top-killed, more than half survived fires via basal sprouting. Metrosideros trees with diameters >20 cm sprouted in lower percentages than smaller trees. At least 17 of 29 native woody species colonized the postfire environment via seedling establishment. Although the native biota possess adaptations facilitating persistence following wildfire, the presence of highly competitive invasive plants and ungulates will likely alter postfire succession.
Keywords: Disturbance, Dodonaea viscosa, Fire adaptations, Hawaii, Metrosideros polymorpha, Sprouting
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
XML: View XML
Ainsworth, Alison; Boone Kauffman, J. 2009. Response of native Hawaiian woody species to lava-ignited wildfires in tropical forests and shrublands. Plant Ecology. 201(1): 197-209.
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility