Terrestrial Biomes of Lauru in the Western Solomon Islands and The Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect

W. C. McClatchey1  and M. Q. Sirikolo2

1Department of Botany, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawai‘i. U.S.A.
Ministry of Forestry, Environment and Conservation, P.O. Box G24, Honiara, Solomon Islands

The island of Lauru in the western Solomon Islands is a high (up to 1060 meters) volcanic island, located between 6.50 and 750 S latitude and 156.50 and 157.50 E longitude. Selected biomes in the island are suggested for inclusion in the Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect (PABITRA). Horizontal and vertical approaches to transect selection are recommended for comparison with other transects in PABITRA. The horizontal perspective in the Solomon Islands will focus on establishing transects in two biomes: the tropical montane cloud forest of Mount Matambe, the highest point in the island, and the lowland rainforests, between 200 and 500 meters in elevation to the southwest of Susuka at the base of Mount Matambe. In both of these biomes the flora is still, to a very large degree, comprised of indigenous and endemic species although ancient human activities may be found in the lowland rainforest. A vertical approach for PABITRA in the Solomon Islands will be accomplished by setting up two parallel transects beginning along the northwest coast of Lauru and extending along slopes with similar exposures up to the area of the Mount Matambe horizontal transect. These transects will stretch through two different watersheds (‘ahu pua‘a) one of which has had traditional agriculture practiced in the coastal strand area and the other of which has had traditional agriculture practiced in the lowland forest of mid-elevations. Biogeographical and ethnobotanical rationale for selection of the transects will be discussed with site descriptions and preliminary results.


Abstract from: XIX Pacific Science Congress, July 4-9, 1999, Sydney, Australia.

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Last Updated: 11/26/99