Gulamhussein 2005

Gulamhussein 2005 - Water-Use Efciency in Hawaiian Trees: An

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30 Volume 24, Spring 2005 Water-Use Efficiency in Hawaiian Trees: An Eco-physiological Approach and Methodology by Sharifa Gulamhussein, MFS 2005 Background The ultimate causes of deforestation are manifold, often involving social, political, and economic motivations for the region in ques- tion. In the case of Hawaii, vast tracts of tropi- cal forest were cleared in the 1830’s for timber extraction of Santalum and Acacia trees and to make way for a booming cattle industry (Elevitch and Wilkinson 2000). In the past few decades, however, Hawaii’s economy has shift- ed heavily toward agriculture and tourism, resulting in subsequent abandonment of these lands. Today, an estimated two-thirds of state’s original forests have been cleared and only 10% of Hawaii’s dry tropical forests now remain (Juvik and Juvik 1998). Natural forest regeneration in Hawaii is severely impeded due to the synergistic effects of dry, nutrient-depleted soil conditions and the growing threat of intractable invasive species (Reiners et al. 1994; Scowcroft et al. 2004; Vitousek et al. 1987). Although reforestation efforts were first attempted in the 1920’s by the Hawaiian Territorial Forestry officials and the private, non-profit Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association, they involved the systematic intro- duction of exotic tree genera such as Araucaria , Casuarina , and Eucalyptus on Forest Reserve lands (Woodcock 2003). Among Hawaiians Sharifa Gulamhussein is originally from California and has a degree in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley. She has worked on forest restoration ecology and invasive weed biology in Hawaii and California and plans on continuing to research and teach applied forest science after her Master's the- sis program at Yale. today, there is growing concern for implement- ing more environmentally friendly approaches, such as reforesting using native species (Dewar 2002; Elevitch and Wilkinson 2000; Kelly 2003). The tremendous environmental benefits of planting native species include ameliorating degraded soil conditions, encouraging forest regeneration, providing habitat for endangered species, preventing watershed erosion and flash floods, and maintaining ecosystem integrity and health in the long term (Harrington and Ewel 1997; Hobbs and Norton 1996; Montagnini 2001). Public and private institutions, local communities, and individuals are asking, “Which native species will grow well? Where should I plant them? How will reforesting my land benefit me, my community, or institution and the environment at large?” Investigating how plants will physiologically respond to degraded, water-stressed site conditions and whether they will survive in the long-term can help address these questions.
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Gulamhussein 2005 - Water-Use Efciency in Hawaiian Trees: An

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