Print Friendly and PDF


Advanced Search Results Detail

Project ID: 03-3-3-15

Year: 2003

Date Started: 08/15/2003

Date Completed: 10/09/2007

Title: Relationships of an Alien Plant, Fuel Dynamics, Fire Weather, and Unprecedented Wildfires in Hawaiian Rain Forests: Implications for Fire Management at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Project Proposal Abstract: Resource managers from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and researchers from Oregon State University and the PSW Research Station have partnered to prepare this proposal that addresses 2003-3; Task 3 Address local scientific knowledge gaps that are significant to fire management program implementation. Tropical rain forests are among the most biologically diverse terrestrial ecosystems on Earth and rain forest ecosystems of Hawaii contain species assemblages found nowhere else in the USA. In the evolutionary history of rain forests of Hawaii, it was believed that wildland fires were exceedingly rare because fuel moisture contents remained above the moisture of extinction. However, the recent invasion of an alien species, Kupukupu or scaly sword fern (Nephrolepis multiflora), may be altering fuel loads and increasing the susceptibility of these ecosystems to wildland fire. The Kupukupu fire of 2002 was the longest, most resistant to control, and costliest fire in the history of fire management at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The fire was also the largest that has occurred in closed mesic/rain forests and has raised a new concern among resource and fire managers that establishment of the sword fern has altered the fire environment such that conditions allowing for the sustained ignition and spread of the lava-ignited wildfires are now possible. In addition, there may be a positive feedback between fire and scaly sword fern such that fuel reaccumulation in post fire landscapes creates more flammable conditions for re-burns to occur. To conserve and restore this valuable resource we need to understand how scaly sword fern is affecting fuel loads, and hence the fire regime of these unique and endangered ecosystems. In this study, we will examine the relationships among the alien sword fern and fuels, fire weather, fuel chemistry, and moisture dynamics in tropical rain forests of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We will quantify fuel loads, fuel moisture dynamics, and in-stand microclimate in unburned native-dominated stands and in those that have been invaded by sword fern. We will also measure these parameters in recently burned stands (stand-replacing fires) that had been dominated by sword fern and those that had been free of sword fern. We will relate changes in fuel loads and microclimate to changes in plant composition and diversity. Microclimate and fuel data are important to know if, and to what magnitude, fuels and microclimatic feedbacks are facilitating frequent fire and hence creating a barrier for rain forest recovery. We will use the above empirical measures to determine fire potential behavior under invaded and un-invaded scenarios as well as in pre- and post-fire conditions of each scenario using the BEHAVE program.

Principal Investigator: Rhonda K. Loh

Agency/Organization: NPS-National Park Service

Branch or Dept: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Flint Hughes

Forest Service

PSW-Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry

Co-Principal Investigator

J. Boone Kauffman

Oregon State University

Department of Fisheries & Wildlife

Co-Principal Investigator

Timothy J. Tunison

NPS-National Park Service

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Federal Cooperator

Rhonda K. Loh

NPS-National Park Service

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park


Project Locations

Consortium

Pacific


There are no project locations identified for this project.

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
    46 Book Fire Ecology and Effects in Pacific Island Ecosystems
view or print   2521 Journal Article Biotropica
    176 MS Thesis Interactive Influences of Wildfire and Nonnative Species on Plant Community Succession in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
  go to website 802 Conference/Symposia/Workshop The Effects of Fire on Invasive Plants in Hawaii
    928 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Impact of Fire and Invasive Species on Aboveground Carbon Pools Along a Precipitation Gradient in Hawaiian Tropical Forests
    931 Book or Book Chapter Fire Ecology and Effects in Pacific Island Ecosystems
    1208 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Effects of Repeated Fires on Native Plant Community Succession at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
    1266 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Fire Effects and Vegetation Dynamics Along an Elevational Gradient in Hawaiian Lowland Mesic/Wet Ecosystems
    1267 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Fire Effects and Vegetation Dynamics Along an Elevational Gradient in Hawaiian Lowland Mesic/Wet Ecosystems
    1268 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Interactive Influences of Fire and Invasive Species on Native Plant Community Succession in Hawaii
    1269 Poster Interactive Influences of Fire and Invasive Species on Native Plant Community Succession
    1270 Invited Paper/Presentation Relationships of an Alien Plant, Fuel Dynamics, Fire Weather, and Unprecedented Wildfires in Hawaiian Mesic/Wet Forests
    1271 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Effects of Repeated Fires on Native Plant Community Succession at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
    1693 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Interactive Influences of Fire and Invasive Species on Native Plant Community Succession
  go to website 1694 Invited Paper/Presentation Changing Fire Dynamics and Ecosystem Responses of Pacific Islands Landscapes
    5825 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Interactive Influences of Repeated Fires and Non-Native Species on Plant Community Succession at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
    5826 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Fire Effects and Vegetation Dynamics Along an Elevational Gradient in Hawaiian Lowland Mesic/Wet Ecosystems
    5827 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Vegetation Response to Wildfire in Invaded and Native Dominated Metrosideros polymorha Forests
    5828 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Effects of an Invasive Fern on Aboveground Carbon Pools in Vegetation and Detritus in Mesic Forests, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
  go to website 5854 Invited Paper/Presentation The Synergy of Fire and Nonnative Species on Plant Community Succession at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
    5855 Invited Paper/Presentation Fire in the Pacific: Current Research on Fire Ecology and Management at the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry

Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

view or print

Brief


Convert PDF documents to an html document using Adobe's online conversion tool.
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader