PLANTS

Click photo for larger view

Like most Pacific islands, the plant communities of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands have been affected greatly by the activities of human beings.  Guano mining or military development World War II wiped out many plant species on  a number of islands, in turn threatening birds and insects who had depended upon them.


Click
drawing for larger view

Nihoa and Necker are relatively undisturbed, with a few interesting endemic species such as Amaranthus brownii (above).  Some aliens are established on Pearl and Hermes Reef and French Frigate Shoals, but they are not spreading. The original plants found on Laysan and Lisianski were devastated by rabbits. Some alien species, like ironwood, were planted intentionally on a few islands but they have not spread. Kure Atoll has predominantly alien flora. 


Click photo for larger view

To help preserve some of the plant communities, workers have built a nursery on Midway and are propagating native plants (above).   In order to prevent the spread of unwanted weeds and other pest species, researchers take extreme care when visiting the NWHI.  Scientists on the NOWRAMP cruise for instance are required to have a brand new set of clothes, shoes and even equipment bags for each island that they visit.  

Plant Links
(opens new windows)

Photos by Monte Costa and Robert Shallenberger, Drawing adapted from Wagner (1990)

Bishop Museum | NWHI Main | Crew Members | Daily Journal | Media Center | For Teachers  
Geography
| Biology | Geology | History | Calendar | Photos | Links | FAQ and Contact Us


  Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum
The State Museum of Natural and Cultural History

Bishop Museum 1525 Bernice Street Honolulu Hawai‘i 96817 USA 
808.847.3511

Updated 09-29-2000  be

Copyright © 2000 Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum. All rights reserved
All media are for the personal use of students, scholars and the public. 
This website is made possible by the Bishop Museum's Science Information Network,
An Education Partnership with NASA
Any commercial use or publication of them is strictly prohibited.
  
If you have any comments/suggestions for the documents on this server, send e-mail to webmaster@bishopmuseum.org