Recent research looks at three invasive species

April 8th, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Research News

fountain grass

Fountain grass

Research recently reported in the journal Pacific Science (University of Hawaiʻi Press) includes these findings about invasive species in Hawaiʻi:

Mouflon sheep

Like rings in the tree trunks, cementum lines in teeth appear to provide relatively accurate age estimates for mouflon sheep in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Understanding the population dynamics is important in formulating strategies to control the sheep, first introduced as game animals in 1954, Tommy Thompson of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resource Center and his coauthors write. (January 2011)

Fountain grass

Heat from fire kills exposed fountain grass seeds, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa botanists Edith Adkins, Donald Drake and a U.S. Forest Service colleague demonstrated in field and laboratory tests. Prescribed burns could provide a useful tool in controlling the invasive plant in degraded areas if coupled with other control measures to remove regenerating stems. (January 2011)

Kiawe, or mesquite

Prosopis pallida, commonly known as kiawe or mesquite, has been a source of cattle feed, honey, charcoal, durable fence posts, even furniture and an emulsion gum since first planted in Hawaiʻi in 1828. The shrubby, thorny, quickly spreading P. juliflora species, which arrived 150 years later, is considered a noxious weed. Prosopis can rehabilitate degraded soils and restore deforested lands, but may also lower water tables and prevent native species from becoming reestablished. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa botany graduate student Timothy Gallaher and Professor Mark Merlin suggest that a balance between population control and sustainable use may solve this kiawe conundrum. (October 2010)


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