PABITRA, the Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect Network:
2005 Status Report

Dieter Mueller-Dombois

Following the PABITRA Session held at the 47th IAVS Symposium in Hawai`i, two major PABITRA publications appeared in 2005:

  1. A PABITRA feature was published in the Journal PACIFIC SCIENCE Vol. 59, 2. The issue includes 13 papers presented by PABITRA members from Fiji, Solomon Islands, Micronesia, and Hawai`i
  2. The methods book BIODIVERSITY ASSESSMENT IN TROPICAL PACIFIC ISLANDS: A Manual for Interactive Ecology and Management was completed. This book was published as an electronic version. It is available free of charge on the PABITRA website under www.botany.hawaii.edu/pabitra 

In March 2005 members of PABITRA were invited to Okinawa to contribute to a Symposium on Systematic Biodiversity Assessment on Island Ecosystems and Coral Reefs, a new Center of Excellence Program at Ryjukyus University under the direction of Professor Makoto Tsuchya.

At the 48th IAVS Symposium in Lisbon in July 2005 a keynote address was presented on BIODIVERSITY LIMITATIONS AND LANDSCAPE CHANGE: A Marginal Site Syndrome in the Hawaiian Islands. The results were the outcome of Long-Term Ecological Research, a special objective of PABITRA.

End November 2005 a PABITRA workshop was held in Fiji to develop a permanent plot and transect system for two of the seven PABITRA Gateway Transect sites, Sovi and Mabo. Sovi contains still large segments of intact primary submontane tropical rainforest and Mabo is a cloud forest terrain next to Mount Tomaniivi (1324m), the highest mountain on Viti Levu, Fijiís main Island. The Sovi area is considered for designation as a World Natural Heritage Site.

A new PABITRA proposal was developed in 2005 for the Palau (or Belau) Islands, the most western archipelago of Micronesia. A message was received in November from APN (the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research) that the proposal was selected in the first review process and that the Palau proposal will likely be funded in March 2006.