What’s slowing forest restoration at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge?

Apr 4, 2019 7:00 PM

A Maunakea Speaker Series presentation by Dr. Evan Rehm, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California Santa Barbara

The next scheduled program in the Maunakea Speaker Series will be held Thursday, April 4th from 7 pm to 8 pm at UH Hilo Science and Technology Building (STB) room 108.

Starting nearly 30 years ago, managers at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge planted over 400,000 Acacia koa (koa) trees in abandoned pastures to facilitate forest regeneration. Their goal was to restore native forests in order to increase native bird populations at an altitude where avian malaria is rare. While planted trees seem to grow well, there has been very little natural recruitment of native understory plants (e.g. pilo, 'ōlapa). In this talk Dr. Rehm will discuss the various barriers that inhibit the development of native forests, hindering restoration efforts.

Dr. Evan Rehm earned his PhD from Florida International University and has worked in a variety of tropical systems including investigating climate change effects on montane forest in Peru, how an invasive snake has disrupted bird-plant interactions on Guam, the role habitat loss is playing in reducing bird populations in Puerto Rico, and mating systems of fairy-wrens in Australia. Dr. Rehm is currently a Post-doctoral Researcher with the University of California Santa Barbara but is based at the Institute for Pacific Island Forest in Hilo, Hawai'i. He is interested in how different drivers of global change (e.g. climate change, habitat loss, invasive species) have negative impacts of native plants and animals.

The Maunakea Speaker Series is free and open to the public. On-campus parking is open and available without charge after 4:00 pm.

About the Maunakea Speaker Series

The Maunakea Speaker Series is a monthly scholar-focused presentation offered as a partnership among the Office of Maunakea Management, 'Imiloa Astronomy Center, and the University of Hawai'i at Hilo Department of Physics & Astronomy. This collaborative venture gives the community unprecedented access to fascinating research taking place on Maunakea and other topics unique to the Island of Hawai'i. A venue for scholars to share their stories and learn from discussion, the series promotes understanding and collaboration across all sectors of the community, while addressing the goals of the University of Hawai'i at Hilo.

For more information, visit or call 808-933-0734


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