Ecology of Kukui, TCBES Research Seminar Series - Event Details

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This event is being held online. Passcode: kukui

Ecology of Kukui, TCBES Research Seminar Series

Location: Online

Title: Historical and Modern Ecology of Kukui (Aleurites moluccanus)

Speaker: Noa Kekuewa Lincoln, Professor, Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa

Abstract: We examine the historical ecology and trends of kukui in two projects as an exploration of its potential of a proxy for ancient Hawaiian forest alteration. A review of the the ethnobotany was conducted to inform the context of kukui’s introduction and cultivation by our ancestors. We use current and historical remote imagery to map kukui canopy on the five largest Hawaiian Islands. Kukui is still widespread through the state, being a significant component in many novel low-land forests. However, kukui is declining, having lost an average of ~58% of total canopy cover over the last 70 years. Spatial trends suggest that kukui likely did not spread much following the largescale shifts in Hawaiian socio-ecosystems that accompanied the arrival of colonial powers. A more detailed analysis of the northeastern slopes of Mauna Kea (the “Hāmākua coast”), demonstrates the effectiveness of using remnant tree distributions in indicating ancient land use. We suggest that the footprint of kukui in Hawai’i closely approximates the extent of indigenous agroforestry and forest alteration.

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For more information, contact: (808) 932-7573

Tags: TCBES Noa Kekuewa Lincoln Kukui Aleurites moluccanus research plants soil Online Only

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