Hawaiian forests and gardens are bound for big changes

  • The fruit of the endemic loulu palm is a tasty treat for feral pigs and rats. The seeds seldom have a chance to germinate thus pushing these Hawaiian palm species to the verge of extinction. (Voltaire Moise/Special to West Hawaii Today)

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly made us aware of how our individual lives and even society can be altered in a very short time by disease organisms. Our forests and landscapes can change rapidly as well. A very warm, wet period or dry one can drastically alter the species makeup of a forest. For example, our Ohia forests are suffering not only from rapid ohia death, but from other diseases as well.