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Light transmittance in experimental plots, Hakalau Forest, Hawaii, 2015


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Yelenik, S.G., Paxton, E., and Rose, E.T., 2020, Avian diet and vegetation data for Hakalau Forest, Hawaii, 2012-2016: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


This data release includes data and metadata on 1) avian diet 2) seed rain 3) understory plant composition 4) seedling abundance and 5) sampling locations for these sites. In addition it includes data on seedling abundance, grass cover and light levels for a grass removal/seed addition experiment . All sites were within Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge on Hawaii Island. This study looked at multiple biotic interactions that potentially lead to self-reinforcing feedbacks within intact forest and degraded forest sites. Most of this study was done with sampling, however we also implemented an experiment in which we manipulated grass biomass and seed addition to specifically ask how these factors limit native plant recruitment. [...]


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Light transmittance in experimental plots.csv 2.58 KB text/csv


In an attempt to jump-start succession in former cattle pastures, managers in Hawaii have planted native Acacia koa (koa) trees to create avian habitat, increase seed rain, reduce exotic grass biomass, and facilitate recruitment of a diverse understory. Restoration forests In Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, however, have not undergone secondary succession towards native dominated forest, instead maintaining a koa overstory with an exotic pasture grass understory. The objective of this study was to contrast the roles of top-down and bottom-up processes that influence the capacity for natural understory regeneration. These included feedbacks between bird-mediated seed rain and fruiting understory (top-down), as well as links between understory and microhabitats for native seed germination (bottom-up). The overarching goal was to find those constraints that are most important to address to help facilitate degraded forest sites naturally regenerating into intact forest sites. As a part of this, we also documented light levels under the different canopy trees and across the different habitat types where we had implemented our grass removal/seed addition experiment.

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