Ecological Site Description Ecological Site Characteristics Site Identification



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Understory species canopy cover under a range of overstory canopy covers in Plant Community 1, Native Forest. “Overstory” canopy cover includes tall overstory, midstory, and tree fern layers.

Common Name

Scientific Name

Understory Species Canopy Cover as a function of Overstory Canopy Cover

Overstory Canopy Cover Percent

50

70

90

`ohi`a lehua (seedlings & saplings)

Metrosideros polymorpha

1

tr

0

kopiko (seedlings & saplings)

Psychotria sp.

5

1

1

pandanus (seedlings & saplings)

Pandanus tectorius

5

5

1





State 1, Plant Community 1, Native Forest plant community.



State 2 – Mixed Native/Alien Forest

This state consists of one plant community. Native ohia trees still dominate the overstory. However, alien trees, shrubs, vines, and ferns make up a large portion of the lower parts of the plant community. Alien ferns (especially scaly swordfern), melastome shrubs, and strawberry guava produce a dense layer of low vegetation that severely inhibits reproduction of native species. This brings about eventual loss of native overstory, midstory, and tree fern canopies as well as smaller plants. Most native species are still present in this plant community but are much less abundant than in the Native Forest plant community. Activity of feral pigs further reduces native plant abundance and produces bare, disturbed soil patches.


Pathways from this state

To State 1 – Native Forest, via “C&D”:

C = feral pig exclusion; D = weed control.

It is possible to restore Mixed Native/Alien Forest to a plant community resembling Native Forest. Pig-proof fence and removal of pigs is necessary. Intensive weed control must then be carried out. In some cases, this may entail removal of large amounts of weed biomass from the site.
To State 3, Alien Forest, via “A&B&E”:

A = gradual weed invasion; B = feral pig damage; E = lack of native plant reproduction.

Aggressive, fast-growing weeds inhibit reproduction of native plants and gradually replace them. This process is accelerated by feral pigs directly damaging native plants and promoting the spread of weeds by disturbing the soil and spreading weed seeds.
To State 4, Grassland, via “G&H”:

G = land clearing; H = pasture establishment.



Mixed Native/Alien Forest can be converted to Grassland by clearing the forest with heavy machinery and planting desirable pasture species. Native forest may be cleared gradually by allowing cattle access to the forest. Cattle eventually eat or destroy understory ferns, forbs, shrubs, and saplings, opening up the forest so that pasture grasses will thrive. On shallow soils over lava substrates, underlying lava rock often is ripped and crushed by heavy machinery. Ripping and crushing produces some fine mineral particles and small, abundant gaps between the rock fragments. When this is done on organic soils, about 50% of the soil organic matter may be lost in the process due to exposure to air and higher temperatures.
Composite representation of State 2, Plant Community 2, Mixed Native/Alien Forest.

Scientific name

%Canopy cover by height class (ft)

Total Cover


Local

common name


NRCS

common name

Origin

Type


NRCS

Code

0.1 -

2

2.1 -

4.5

4.6 -

13

13.1 -

40

40.1 -

80

80.1 -

120

Metrosideros polymorpha










1

40

10

50

'ohi'a lehua

'ohi'a lehua

n

t

MEPO5

Psychotria sp.

tr

tr

tr

20







20

kopiko

wild coffee

n

t

PSYCH

Pandanus tectorius

1

1

1

1







1

pandanus

Tahitian screwpine

n

t

PATE2

Cheirodendron trigynum







tr

1







1

olapa

olapalapa

n

t

CHTR2

Diospyros sandwicensis




tr

1

1

tr




1

lama

lama

n

t

DISA10

Cibotium glaucum




tr

30

1







30

hapu`u

hapu`u

n

tf

CIGL

Cibotium menziesii







1










1

hapu`u `i`i

hapu`u li

n

tf

CIME8

Falcataria moluccana

tr

tr

tr

tr







1

falcataria

peacocksplume

a

t

FAMO

Cecropia obtusifolia

tr

tr

tr

tr







1

trumpet tree

trumpet tree

a

t

CEOB

Macaranga mappa

tr

tr

tr










1

bingabing

pengua

a

t

MAMA28

Melochia umbellata

tr

tr

1

tr







1

melochia

hierba del soldado

a

t

MEUM3

Schefflera actinophylla

tr

tr

tr

tr







1

octopus tree

octopus tree

a

t

SCAC2

Trema orientale

tr

tr

tr

tr







1

gunpowder tree

oriental trema

a

t

TROR

Psidium cattleianum

1

1

1

20







20

waiawi

strawberry guava

a

t

PSCA

Psidium guajava







1

1







1

common guava

guava

a

t

PSGU

Miconia calvescens

tr

tr

tr










tr

miconia

velvet tree

a

t

MICA20

Casuarina equisetifolia

tr

tr

tr

tr







1

ironwood

beach sheoak

a

t

CAEQ

Pipturus albidus

tr

tr

tr










tr

mamaki

Waimea pipturus

n

s

PIAL2

Melastoma candidum

1

10

20










30

melastoma

Asian melastome

a

s

MECA9

Clidemia hirta

1

10













10

Koster's curse

soapbush

a

s

CLHI3

Lantana camara

tr

tr

1










1

lantana

lantana

a

s

LACA2

Cocculus orbiculatus

1
















1

huehue

queen coralbead

n

v

COOR11

Freycinetia arborea

20
















20

`ie`ie

`ie`ie

n

v

FRAR

Dioscoria pentaphylla

1
















1

pi`a

fiveleaf yam

a

v

DIPE2

Paederia foetida

1
















1

paederia

stinkvine

a

v

PAFO3

Passiflora mollissima

1
















1

banana poka

banana passionflower

a

v

PAMO5

Rubus rosifolius

1
















1

thimbleberry

West Indian raspberry

a

v

RURO

Peperomia sp.

tr
















tr

`ala`ala wai nui

peperomia

n

h

PEPER

Dissotis rotundifolia

1
















1

 

pinklady

a

h

DIRO2

Asplenium nidus

tr

5













5

bird's nest fern

Hawai`i birdnest fern

n

f

ASNI

Adenophorus tamariscinus

tr
















tr

wahini noho mauna

wahini noho mauna

n

f

ADTA

Dicranopteris linearis

1
















1

uluhe

Old World forkedfern

n

f

DILI

Elaphoglossum crassifolium

tr
















tr

stag's tongue, `ekaha

royal tonguefern

n

f

ELCR2

Lycopodiella cernua

1
















1

clubmoss

staghorn clubmoss

n

f

LYCE2

Psilotum nudum

tr
















tr

moa

whisk fern

n

f

PSNU

Pteris cretica

tr
















tr

`oali

Cretan brake

n

f

PTCR2

Sphenomeris chinensis

tr
















tr

pala`a

Chinese creepingfern

n

f

ODCH

Vandenboschia sp.

1
















1

vandenboschia

vandenboschia

n

f

VANDE
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