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Assessment of light quality, variability, and seedling presence in Hawaiian lowland wet forests

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Title: Assessment of light quality, variability, and seedling presence in Hawaiian lowland wet forests
Authors: Rosam, Jodie Ray
Advisor: Ostertag, Rebecca
Keywords: Ecology
Environmental science
Hawaiian lowland wet forest
light quality
show 1 morerestoration
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Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: Hawaiian lowland wet forest (HLWF) plant species are light-limited, yet no information exists on how the understory light varies in relation to species invasion, or if patterns of seedling regeneration and light are linked. I measured the red-to-far-red ratio (R:FR) of light to assess light quality and quantified diurnal variability in three forest types: native-dominated, partially-invaded, and fully invaded by strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum). I asked: (1) how does understory light quality vary relative to invasion? (2) Are there differences in light quality moving vertically among forest types? (3) Are patterns of seedling regeneration and understory light related? Native-dominated forests had the greatest light quality (highest R:FR), and Psidium cattleianum-dominated forests had the lowest. While I predicted that native seedlings would prefer high-quality light sites, all seedlings preferred medium quality environments. In invaded HLWF, native seedling regeneration is hindered, and restoration efforts should focus on non-native understory removal.
Pages/Duration: 41 pages
Appears in Collections:Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science

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