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Featured Restoration Project

Tropical Dryland Forest Restoration Project
National Tropical Botanical Gardens, Kalaheo, HI
Photo of project area.
Ka`upulehu Preserve in the North Kona District, island of Hawaii, conserves 5.8 acres of remnant dryland forest dominated by Diospyros sandwicensis (lama) and Sophora chrysophylla (mamane) trees. Although fenced since the 1950's to exclude cattle and goats, the preserve has been densely invaded by the alien fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) which prevents regeneration of native plants and poses a severe fire risk.

Photo of preserve (fenced).

Preserve area inside (right of) fence 3 months after weed-whacking and first treatment of grass-specific herbicide FusilladeTM. As no native grasses occur within the preserve, FusilladeTM has no impact on impact on the native vegetation. Area outside of (left of) fence is a control, subject to occasional cattle grazing.
Preserve area after treatment.

Preserve area 21 months after weed-whacking and five applications of grass-specific herbicide FusilladeTM. Most of the fountain grass has died and begun to decompose, no longer hindering regeneration of native plants or posing a fire threat. However, the weedy alien shrubs Lantana camara are healthy and need to be removed by other methods. In addition, rats often eat seeds of native plants and need to be controlled by baiting.

Research accompanying this Restoration Project

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Last Updated: 5/8/03