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Hakalau Forest NWR seed rain, seedling, and plant data for 2017-2019


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Yelenik, S.G., Rehm, E.M., and D'Antonio, C.M., 2021, Hakalau Forest NWR seed rain, seedling, and plant data for 2017-2019: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


This data release includes data and metadata on tree and shrub basal area as well as bird-mediated and passive seed rain for sites selected to have a range of understory cover under canopy trees (Metrosideros polymorpha and Acacia koa). It also includes seedling germination and survival data for a large-scale seed addition and grass removal experiment that varied both seed rain and grass cover. All sites were within Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge on Hawaii Island. Broadly, this study asks what thresholds of seed rain and native and exotic plant cover are needed for passive forest regeneration.

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“Monitoring seedling germination at Hakalau NWR (photo: S. Yelenik).”
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Alternative stable equilibrium (ASE) theory hypothesizes that a system can exist as multiple stable-states under the same environmental conditions. The current state is determined by priority effects and is non-transitory due to the positive feedbacks between the community and the environment. Only when certain thresholds are met do systems experience phase shifts from one stable-state to an alternative. Understanding where these thresholds are is important for restoration and management because it helps managers predict the level of resources needed to push an ecosystem from a degraded state to a more desired condition. We addressed thresholds to native plant germination and survival by experimentally manipulating seed rain and exotic grass cover, while simultaneously monitoring background rates of these variables.
Monitoring seedling germination at Hakalau NWR (photo: S. Yelenik).
Monitoring seedling germination at Hakalau NWR (photo: S. Yelenik).


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ScienceBase WMS


  • Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
  • USGS Data Release Products



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DOI doi:10.5066/P9MY5240

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