Project

Understanding the Response of Native and Non‐native Forests to Climate Variability and Change to Support Resource Management in Hawai`i

Project Summary

Affiliation(s): Pacific Islands CSC

Principal Investigator(s):
  • Thomas Giambelluca (University of Hawai`i at Manoa)

One of the biggest concerns about global climate change impacts relates to how forests and other ecosystems will be affected. Along with increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and warming temperatures, rainfall, cloud cover, storm frequency, and other aspects of climate will also change. These shifts are likely to have effects on plants, such as changing the amount of water they use or how fast they grow. In this project, we investigated the connections between environmental conditions (such as temperature, rainfall, solar radiation, humidity, wind speed, soil moisture) and plant water use and growth rates of two forest ecosystems in Hawai‘i. Based on those connections, we sought to project how a specific set of possible future climate changes will affect water use and growth of these forests. The forests chosen for study represent relatively undisturbed native forest and a forest that has been invaded by the non-native tree strawberry guava. As a result of this study, we have found that more water is used at the non-native forest site, and growth characteristics of the two sites are different. Projections of changes that will be caused by future climate change show that both forests will use more water and will grow more slowly. It appears that both of these effects will be greater for the non-native site, i.e., the water use will increase more for the non-native forest and the growth will be reduced more there. Our findings are important because future increases in forest water use caused by climate change could reduce the availability of groundwater resources and streamflow. Reduced growth rates could affect forest health and stability, which could further curtail the ecosystem services they provide.

Affiliation(s): Pacific Islands CSC

Principal Investigator(s):
  • Thomas Giambelluca (University of Hawai`i at Manoa)
Cooperator(s)/Partner(s):
  • Rebecca Ostertag (University of Hawai`i at Hilo)
  • Creighton Litton (University of Hawai`i at Manoa)
  • Lucas Fortini (U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Maoyi Huang (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)
  • Greg Asner (Carnegie Institution)
  • Yoshi Miyazawa (Kyushu University)

Start Date: August 2013

End Date: December 2015

Project Status: In Progress

Tags: CSC, Pacific Islands CSC, 2013, Ecosystem Response, Ecosystem Services, Invasive Species, Landscapes, Forests

Fiscal Year: FY 2013 Projects

Publications & Other

  • Final Project Report for "Understanding the Response of Native and Non‐native Forests to Climate Variability and Change to Support Resource Management in Hawai`i"

    • PICSC Final Report Giambelluca Ohia_Guava_ET 2016 12 05.pdf (Download)
      • Project Snapshot: "Understanding the response of native and non-native forests to climate variability and change"

        • PICSCResearchFeature_Giambelluca_NativeVSInvadedForestHydrology.pdf (Download)