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Ecology, Conservation, and Native Hawaiian Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Alyxia oliviformis Gaud. (maile) on Hawaii Island: A Model for Community-Based Native Habitat RestorationEPA Grant Number: U916212
Title: Ecology, Conservation, and Native Hawaiian Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Alyxia oliviformis Gaud. (maile) on Hawaii Island: A Model for Community-Based Native Habitat Restoration
Investigators: Whitehead, Amber N.
Institution: University of Hawaii at Manoa
EPA Project Officer: Just, Theodore J.
Project Period: January 1, 2003 through January 1, 2006
Project Amount: $125,611
RFA: Minority Academic Institutions (MAI) Fellowships for Graduate Environmental Study (2003) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Fellowship - Natural and Life Sciences , Biology/Life Sciences
The objectives of this research project are to: (1) identify some of the ecological conditions and management protocols under which traditional Hawaiian wild-plant gathering practices are consistent with conservation values; and (2) provide a model for future community-based native habitat conservation and restoration programs in the Hawaiian Islands.
Alyxia oliviformis Gaud. (maile) is an endemic vining shrub, valued greatly by both the kanaka maoli (aboriginal) and local peoples of the Hawaiian Islands for use in fragrant open-ended kipu‘u style lei. The decline of maile populations is comparable to the current state of Hawaii's diminishing native flora. In the case of maile, this regression is possibly because of dispersal or pollination problems, although in the past, it often has been assumed to be related to the overharvesting of wild plants. Initial sites are being established in Hawaii to assess the effects of different island-specific gathering practices, as well as the variation in population growth between harvested and nonharvested populations, utilizing a combination of traditional environmental wisdom, experimental ecology, and population modeling.