Weeds of Hawaii’s lands devoted to watershed protection and biodiversity conservation: Role of biological control as the missing piece in an integrated pest management strategy

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Abstract

Despite Hawaii’s reputation as an extinction icon, significant biological resources remain, especially in watersheds, natural areas, and specialized edaphic sites (e.g., lava dry forest, coastal). While direct habitat destruction by humans continues, human-facilitated biological invaders are currently the primary agents of continuing degradation. The ability of invasive plants to have prolific seed production, efficient dispersal systems, and to become established in dense vegetation, complicated by Hawaii’s rugged topography, appears to render mechanical and chemical control as mere holding actions. Costly, ‘environmentally unfriendly’, and often ineffective, strategies using chemical and mechanical control on a large scale, despite the most valiant of efforts, can be viewed simply as attempts to buy time. Without increased levels of safely tested biological control, the seemingly inevitable result is the landscape level transformation of native forests, with potentially catastrophic consequences to cultural, biological, water, and economic resources. Increased levels of effective biological control for certain intractable invasive species appear to comprise a conspicuous ‘missing piece’ in our efforts to protect Hawaiian watersheds and other conservation lands.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Weeds of Hawaii’s lands devoted to watershed protection and biodiversity conservation: Role of biological control as the missing piece in an integrated pest management strategy
Year Published 2011
Language English
Contributing office(s) Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
Larger Work Title Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
First page 206
Last page 210
Conference Title XIII International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds
Conference Location Waikoloa, HI
Conference Date September 11, 2011
Country United States
State Hawaii
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N