Hawaiian Plant Life

Hawaiian Plant Life: Vegetation and Flora

ROBERT J. GUSTAFSON
DERRAL R. HERBST
PHILIP W. RUNDEL
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 624
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt13x1jqm
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Hawaiian Plant Life
    Book Description:

    Hawaiian Plant Life has been written with both the layperson and professional interested in Hawai‘i’s natural history and flora in mind. In addition to significant text describing landforms and vegetation, the evolution of Hawaiian flora, and the conservation of native species, the book includes almost 875 color photographs illustrating nearly two-thirds of native Hawaiian plant species as well as a concise description of each genus and species shown. The work can be used either as a stand-alone reference or as a companion to the two-volume Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai‘i. Learning more about threatened and endangered plants is essential to conserving them, and there is no more endangered flora in the world today than that of the Hawaiian Islands. Striking species complexes such as the silverswords and the remarkable lobeliads represent unique stories of adaptive radiation that make the Hawai‘i a living laboratory for evolution. Public appreciation for Hawaiian biodiversity requires outreach and education that will determine the future conservation of this rich heritage, and Hawaiian Plant Life has been designed to help fill that need.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-4669-5
    Subjects: Botany & Plant Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. vii-vii)
    SHERWIN CARLQUIST

    Visual contact with a flora is essential for becoming acquainted with the plants and what is significant about them. Thus,Hawaiian Plant Life: Vegetation and Florabecomes of prime importance in introducing Hawaiian native plants to a wide audience, both amateur and professional. Its wide coverage gives the newcomer to the Hawaiian flora an opportunity to see some of the remarkable adaptations that exist. The shapes of flowers, for example, in nativeHibiscadelphus, Hibiscus, Pisonia, Metrosideros,and above all the lobeliads (Clermontia, Cyanea, Trematolobelia), show that the template evolved to suit bird pollination by native honeycreeper finches and the meliphagids....

  4. NOTES ON THE PHOTOGRAPHY
    (pp. ix-ix)
    ROBERT J. GUSTAFSON
  5. PREFACE
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. CHAPTER 1 Landforms and Climate
    (pp. 1-17)

    The distinctive linear shape of the Hawaiian Island chain has been produced through geologic time as the Pacific Plate has slowly moved across a deep hot spot in the Earth’s mantle. Heat from the hot spot produces a continuous source of magma by melting the overriding Pacific Plate. The magma rises through the mantle and crust to erupt onto the seafloor, gradually building a shield volcano to a height thousands of meters above the deep ocean basin, until it finally emerges above sea level. The Hawaiian hot spot is located today beneath the southeastern portion of the Big Island of...

  7. CHAPTER 2 Plant Diversity and Evolution
    (pp. 19-31)

    Our knowledge of the size and diversity of the Hawaiian flora remains in a state of modest dynamic change as new species continue to be uncovered and species concepts modified. The continual discovery of new species is remarkable for such a well-studied and carefully collected flora. Many of the newly described species in recent years have been found in virtually inaccessible areas of vertical cliffs, particularly on Kaua‘i, where plant collectors have risked life and limb by hanging from climbing ropes.

    In talking about the Hawaiian flora, we need to define several terms that characterize groups of species before we...

  8. CHAPTER 3 Plant Communities
    (pp. 33-47)

    There have been many descriptive systems for classifying plant communities in the Hawaiian Islands. These tend to suffer from being much too simple to be very functional or being much too complex and difficult to assign. Here we err on the side of a descriptive system that separates seven groups of plant communities. These are coastal habitats, lowland dry forests and shrub-lands, mesic seasonal forests, montane wet forests, bogs, subalpine communities, and alpine communities.

    The most critical factor in determining landscape patterns of plant communities is the relative availability of water. This means that both elevation and slope facing are...

  9. CHAPTER 4 Flowering Plants
    (pp. 49-191)

    In this chapter, families are presented alphabetically and genera and species also alphabetically within their taxonomic group. The family names may be easily recognized, as they all end with the suffix-aceae.The scientific name of each genus and species is followed by the Hawaiian name and an indication of the species as indigenous (i.e., occurs naturally in the Hawaiian Islands as well as elsewhere) or endemic (i.e., occurs only in the Hawaiian Islands). The conservation status of species as secure, rare, vulnerable, threatened, endangered, or extinct is also shown (see chapter 8 and the appendix for definitions). “Secure” is...

  10. CHAPTER 5 Ferns and Fern Allies
    (pp. 193-223)

    As described in chapter 2, the flora of ferns and fern allies in the Hawaiian Islands includes 163 native species, 2 more than listed in Palmer (2003), although with some rearrangements in systematic ranks. This species total represents 13% of the vascular plant flora. This proportion is high compared to the global proportion of ferns and fern allies, which represents about 4% of all vascular plants. However, this is not an unusually high proportion for tropical floras, which commonly have a rich diversity of ferns and fern relatives.

    Endemism is relatively high in Hawaiian ferns and fern allies by global...

  11. CHAPTER 6 Polynesian Introductions
    (pp. 225-231)

    Historical evidence suggests that Polynesian ancestors moving eastward from Melanesia had colonized Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga by about 900 BC. For unknown reasons, Polynesian expansion from the homeland areas into Eastern Polynesia stalled for 500– 1,000 years. New research has dramatically altered settlement dates, suggesting that Polynesians colonized the central Society Islands between AD 1025 and 1120 and dispersed to New Zealand, Hawai‘i, Rapa Nui, and other locations between AD 1190 and 1290. The date for the first arrival of Polynesians to the Hawaiian Islands has remained controversial, with suggestions for an early arrival from the Marquesas about AD 400–...

  12. CHAPTER 7 Alien Invaders
    (pp. 233-241)

    In a sense, all plants in the Hawaiian Islands are the product of alien invaders, plants whose ancestors were able to disperse over thousands of kilometers of ocean to reach the Islands. This process of natural dispersal and successful establishment occurred over millions of years without human assistance. Over the time scale of centuries, however, mankind has added greatly to the number of arrivals. One group of such nonnative or alien species arrived with the Polynesians, as described in chapter 6, who brought a variety of cultivated plants with them. Only a few of these have escaped from cultivation and...

  13. CHAPTER 8 Conservation of the Hawaiian Flora
    (pp. 243-253)

    The Hawaiian Islands, with their location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean more than 3,700 km from the nearest continent, are arguably the most isolated archipelago in the world. Those organisms that were able to reach the Islands and become successfully established found a landmass with an exceptional diversity of climatic and geological features that provided an enormous range of available habitat conditions. The slow colonization of the Hawaiian Islands by long distance dispersal could have begun as early as about 28 Ma with the formation of Kure Island, but only low and relatively short-lived islands existed until the...

  14. APPENDIX Native Vascular Plants of the Hawaiian Islands
    (pp. 255-287)
  15. GLOSSARY
    (pp. 289-292)
  16. FURTHER READING
    (pp. 293-308)
  17. PHOTOGRAPH CREDITS
    (pp. 309-309)
  18. INDEX
    (pp. 311-320)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 321-323)