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Forested wetlands dominated by Terminalia carolinensis are endemic to Micronesia but common only on the island of Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia. On Kosrae, these forests occur on Nansepsep, Inkosr, and Sonahnpil soil types, which differ in degree of flooding and soil saturation. We compared forest structure, growth, nutrition, and regeneration on two sites each on Nansepsep and Inkosr soils and one site on the much less common Sonahnpil soil type. Terminalia tree sizes were similar on all three soil types, but forests differed in total basal area, species of smaller trees, and total plant species diversity. Terminalia regeneration was found only on the Inkosr soil type, which had the highest water table levels. Other Terminalia species are relatively light demanding, and T. carolinensis exhibited similar characteristics. It is therefore likely that Terminalia requires periodic, but perhaps naturally rare, stand-replacing disturbances (e.g., typhoons) in order to maintain its dominanace, except on the wettest sites, where competition from other species is reduced. Terminalia swamps in the Nansepsep soil type appeared to be at the greatest risk of conversion to other uses, but swamps on all three types may face reater pressure as Kosrae's population increases and the island's infrastrucure becomes more developed.
Additional Publication Details
A tropical freshwater wetlands: I. Structure, growth, and regeneration