Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

(Warning: This is a preliminary site that links into the web pages being developed to support self-guided field trips)

Species List

Click here to get a listing of all the species discussed and illustrated on the field trip sites.  There are links to the sites and more detailed information about each species.  (Note: this is a new feature and currently under development.)

Field Trips

Upland Forests and Woodlands Sites
Kipuka Puaulu A loop trail through the old, well-developed vegetation of this woodland area provides good views of many native plant species.  This is an example of a forest that is not stressed, except by some past grazing and current invasions of alien weeds.
Mauna Loa Strip Road The Strip Road extends up the gentle slopes of Mauna Loa from the intersection with Hwy 11 at about 4,000 ft elevation up to the road end at 6,700 ft.  There are several kipukas along this 11 mile road, as well as places where Mauna Loa flows have cut across the landscape.
Keamoku Flow A prehistoric lava flow has created a swath of habitat that is a harsh environment for plants.  One species growing on the adjacent land is Silene hawaiiensis, a threatened species.
Rain Forest Sites
Thurston Lava Tube This site shows the typical development of a Hawaiian rain forest community.  The lava tube itself is more than just a geological feature; it provides an example of another isolated environment in which there has been interesting evolutionary development.
`Ola`a Forest High rainfall and relatively good protection from grazing animals make this a rich rain forest.
Mid-Elevation Woodland Sites
Sulfur Banks Sulfur-laden steam comes out of the ground adjacent to a fairly rich plant community. You can smell the sulfur in the air. As you would expect, the water is very acidic.
Southwest Rift Zone This site is directly downwind from Halema`uma`u. It has a fairly recent covering of ash and gets highly-acidic rainfall.
Mid-Elevation Woodland and 1974 Lava Flow The drier mid-elevation woodlands are found below the crater. These forests have been overrun by recent lava flows along the Chain of Craters Highway. This site allows a comparison of the old and new communities and provides an excellent example of succession on a pahoehoe lava flow.
Puhimau Hot Spot This is another of the harsh environments in the park. An underlying volcanic intrusion keeps the temperature of the soil near the surface at over 190 F.  The result is an interesting plant community.
Observatory This is not exactly a field site but it is a good place to make general observations about the overall environment of the Park.


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Last Updated: 11/28/99

Development Items