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Ecosystem-level impacts of nonnative grass invasion in Hawaiian Forests

  Figure 5.  We are using invasion of Hawaiian dry forests by a nonnative perennial bunchgrass to  understand the impacts of invasion on carbon cycling, water availability and use,  and nutrient  dynamics.  The image at the left shows one of our plots where the nonnative grass has been  removed from the understory.

Pennisetum setaceum) to examine how nonnative invasion into forest ecosystems impacts: (i) water availability and use; (ii) aboveground and belowground ecosystem carbon pools, fluxes and partitioning; and (iii) nutrient dynamics. The majority of this work is being conducted at the Kaupulehu Dry Forest Preserve, in a series of canopy-intact plots established in 2000, where the invasive grass understory was removed from half of the plots and left intact in the remaining half.

Publications to Date

Hughes RF, Asner GP, Litton CM, Selmants PC, Giardina CP, Jacobi J. (In revision). Effects of invasive plant species on carbon storage in Hawaiian ecosystems. Pacific Science.

Hughes RF, Asner GP, Litton CM, Selmants PC, Hawbaker TJ, Jacobi JD, Giardina CP, Sleeter BM (2017) Influence of Invasive Species on Carbon Storage in Hawai‘i’s Ecosystems. Pages 43-56 in Selmants PC, Giardina CP, Jacobi JD, Zhu Z, (eds). Baseline and projected future carbon storage and carbon fluxes in ecosystems of Hawai‘i. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1834. (PDF)

Thaxton JM, Cole TC, Cordell S, Cabin RJ, Sandquist DR, Litton CM (2010) Native species regeneration following ungulate exclusion and nonnative grass removal in a remnant Hawaiian dry forest. Pacific Science, 64, 533-544. (PDF)

Litton CM, Sandquist DR, Cordell S (2008) A nonnative invasive grass increases soil carbon flux in a Hawaiian tropical dry forest. Global Change Biology, 14 726-739. (PDF)

Litton CM, Sandquist DR, Cordell S (2006) Effects of non-native grass invasion on aboveground carbon pools and tree population structure in a tropical dry forest of Hawaii. Forest Ecology and Management, 231, 105-113. (PDF)