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Stripping of Acacia koa bark by rats on Hawaii and MauiAuthor(s): Paul G. Scowcroft; Howard F. Sakai
Source: Pacific Science 38(1): 80-86
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
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DescriptionKoa (Acacia koa) is the most valuable native timber species in Hawaii. Bark stripping of young trees by rats, a common but unstudied phenomenon, may affect survival, growth, and quality of koa. Up to 54% of the trees sampled in 4- to 6-year-old stands in the Laupahoehoe and Waiakea areas on Hawaii were wounded by rats; only 5% of trees sampled in a l-year-old stand on Borge Ridge, Maui, were wounded. Wounds were generally long and narrow. Complete girdling was not observed, and direct mortality seemed low. However, indirect effects of damage-deformation of stems, infection by pathogens, and premature death-require further study. Because only young trees seem susceptible to bark stripping, rodent control may be desirable during the first 5 years of koa stand growth.
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CitationScowcroft, Paul G.; Sakai, Howard F. 1984. Stripping of Acacia koa bark by rats on Hawaii and Maui. Pacific Science 38(1): 80-86
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