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The History of human impact on the genus Santalum in Hawai'iAuthor(s): Mark Merlin; Dan VanRavenswaay
Source: In: Hamilton, Lawrence; Conrad, C. Eugene, technical coordinators. Proceedings of the Symposium on Sandalwood in the Pacific; April 9-11, 1990; Honolulu, Hawaii. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-122. Berkeley, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: p. 46-60
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
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DescriptionAdaptive radiation of Santalum in the Hawaiian archipelago has provided these remote islands with a number of endemic species and varieties. The prehistoric Polynesian inhabitants of Hawai'i utilized the sandalwood trees for many of the same traditional purposes as their South Pacific ancestors who had developed ethnobotanical relationships with Santalum. The ancient Hawaiians probably reduced the number and geographical distribution of sandal-wood trees significantly through their extensive cutting and burning, especially in the dry forest regions. Nevertheless, vast numbers of the fragrant trees still existed in Hawai‘i at the time of Western contact in 1778. Within a century after this contact, the extensive trade in sandalwood produced a massive decline in the Hawaiian species of Santalum. Although cultivation attempts during this century with both introduced and native sandalwood species have had limited success in Hawai'i, there is renewed interest in developing a sustainable forest industry based on the production of sandalwood for export trade. Biologists in general, however, have cautioned against large-scale harvesting of the remaining Santalum trees, suggesting that more research be undertaken first to determine the distribution and vigor of the remaining species.
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CitationMerlin, Mark; VanRavenswaay, Dan. 1990. The History of human impact on the genus Santalum in Hawai''i. In: Hamilton, Lawrence; Conrad, C. Eugene, technical coordinators. Proceedings of the Symposium on Sandalwood in the Pacific; April 9-11, 1990; Honolulu, Hawaii. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-122. Berkeley, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: p. 46-60
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