MT. TOMANIIVI, VITI LEVU, FIJI ISLANDS: A PROTOTYPE PABITRA “GATEWAY” SITE FOR THE STUDY OF ISLAND BIODIVERSITY AND ISLAND ECOSYSTEMS

R R. Thaman, Marika Tuiwawa, Batiri Thaman, Alifereti Naikatini and Lisette Wilson

The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji

This paper is about Mt. TomaniM, the surrounding Central Plateau, and associated watersheds and downstream coastal and marine ecosystems of the island of Viti Levu: the “gateway” Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect Network (PABITRA) site in the Fiji Islands. Information is provided on: 1) the geographical, geological, climatic and edaphic setting; 2) the flora, fauna, vegetation and ecosystems; 3) rationale for the selection of Mt. Tomaniivi as a “gateway” site; 4) existing scientific data and ongoing research on the flora, fauna and ecology of the site; 4) governmental and institutional support for the establishment of the site and Fiji’s involvement in PABITRA; 5) existing scientific institutions and support services available to facilitate collaborative multidisciplinary scientific research, both within the Mt. Tomaniivi site, and on other priority PABITRA sites. Stress is placed on why the site is an excellent “prototype” site for enhancing our understanding of the complexities of island biodiversity, both within Fiji and in relation to other islands and archipelagos within PABITRA, and for providing the types of scientific information needed for informed island ecosystem management in the 21st Century.

 

Abstract from: 43rd Symposium of the International Association for Vegetation Science, July 23-28, 2000, Nagano, Japan.


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