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Finding hidden invaders in a Hawaiian rain forest

or a few places are distributed in space and time. These new methods discovered a consequence of biological invasion that had not been detected before AND showed how it varies across the landscape."

"These findings are valuable to resource managers on two levels," remarked Tim Tunison, Chief of Resource Management of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. "We need to understand the ecological effects of invasions over the landscape to develop effective control strategies, and the Asner/Vitousek work gives us valuable insights about this problem. On a more practical level we need to know the distribution of invasives. Weeds are often difficult to find in dense, wet forest in Hawaii. This study has helped us with a particularly difficult-to-map species with confusing signatures, Myrica faya. This is the first time in my experience that remote sensing has detected an understory species, kahili ginger, one of the most disruptive weeds in Hawaiian rain forests."

Asner commented on the expanded effort with the multi-institutional team: "Because Hawaii contains so many different types of ecosystems, from desert grasslands to tropical rain forests, Carnegie's ecological remote sensing program has focused on the area as the ideal outdoor research laboratory for devising the next generation of aircraft and spacecraft observations. Now we've added a major focus on the application of our techniques to invasive species problems in the Hawaiian Islands. It is a win-win combination for all involved."


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Contact: Dr. Gregory Asner
gpa@stanford.edu
650-380-2828
Carnegie Institution
7-Mar-2005


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