PABITRA
The Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect Net

43rd Symposium of the International Association of Vegetation Science (IAVS)
Tasks of Vegetation Ecology in the PABITRA Net

July 23-28, 2000, Nagano, Japan

Tasks for Vegetation Ecology in the PABITRA NET: An Introduction

Dieter Mueller-Dombois
University of Hawaii, Botany Department, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, U.S.A.

The PABITRA net, the Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect Network, is a collaborative program for investigating the functioning of biodiversity and the health of ecosystems in the tropical Pacific Islands. Particular emphasis is put on the comparative analysis of indigenous upland and inland forests of the volcanic high islands and their roles as ecological reserves and watersheds. Their function under the natural biogeographic restrains of isolation and their watershed services in relation to the various lowland ecosystems will become the principal focus of collaborative research. Collaboration with indigenous islanders as co-workers in research is a primary goal of the PABITRA network scientists. The studies are designed to benefit the participating island countries in their resource management, especially biodiversity conservation. Initially, there will be four focal areas of research: (1) Assessment and monitoring of plant biodiversity in island forests, including animal interactions and the threat of invasive species; (2) Analysis of the human dimensions of biodiversity by studying the Polynesian ahupua`a and alternative land management systems; (3) Investigations of the fresh-water flow, its ecosystem services, long-term dynamics, and biodiversity relations; (4) Studies of the historical dimensions of island plant biodiversity. The science of vegetation ecology provides for the basic methodology and approaches to coordination in these four areas.


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Last Updated: 11/01/99