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Basal area in sampling plots, Hakalau Forest NWR

Dates

Publication Date
Start Date
2017-08-01
End Date
2017-10-31

Citation

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, https://doi.org/10.5066/P9MY5240.

Summary

This data release includes data and metadata on tree and shrub identity and basal area within 5 m2 radius plots centered around old growth Acacia koa, planted Acacia koa, old growth Metrosideros polymorpha, and in open, exotic grass dominated sites. Our goal was to ask if understory communities differed between these habitat types and how this relates to other ecosystem factors such as seed rain and exotic grass cover. 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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Attached Files

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Basal area in sampling plots.csv 4.74 KB text/csv

Purpose

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. As a part of this, we needed to quantify basal area of understory species in order to ask if there was a threshold above which ecosystem functioning shifted.

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