In the early 1970s, a multidisciplinary team of forest biologists began a study of Hawaiian ecosystems under the International Biological Program (IBP). Research focus was on the intact native ecosystems in and around Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, in particular the ʻŌhiʻa Lehua rainforest. Patches of dead ʻŌhiʻa stands had been reported from the windward slopes of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. Subsequent air photo analyses by a team of US and Hawai'i State foresters discovered rapidly spreading ʻŌhiʻa dieback, also called ʻŌhiʻa forest decline. A killer disease was suspected to destroy the Hawaiian rain forest in the next 15-25 years. Ecological research continued with a focus on the dynamics of the Hawaiian rainforest. This book explains what really happened and why the ʻŌhiʻa rainforest survived in tact as everyone can witness today.
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ʻŌhiʻa Lehua rainforest: born among Hawaiian volcanoes, evolved in isolation: the story of a dynamic ecosystem with relevance to forests worldwide