Appendix 1: Regional summaries - Hawaii and U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands
Document Type: Book Chapter
Author(s): Christian P. Giardina
Editor(s): James M. Vose; David L. Peterson; Toral Patel-Weynand
Publication Year: 2013

Cataloging Information

  • American Samoa
  • climate change
  • climate change effects
  • ecological disturbance
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • fire regime change
  • Guam
  • invasive grasses
  • Marshall Islands
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 10, 2015
FRAMES Record Number: 13812


[from the text] Hawaii and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands, including Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, and the Marshall Islands (fig. A1-3), contain a high diversity of flora, fauna, ecosystems, geographies, and cultures, with climates ranging from lowland tropical to alpine desert. Forest ecosystems range from equatorial mangrove swamps to subalpine dry forests on high islands, with most other forest life zones between. As a result, associated climate change effects and potential management strategies vary across the region (Mimura et al. 2007). The vulnerability of Pacific islands is caused by the (1) fast rate at which climate change is occurring; (2) diversity of climate-related threats and drivers of change (sea level rise, precipitation changes, invasive species); (3) low financial, technological, and human resource capacities to adapt to or mitigate projected effects; (4) pressing economic concerns affecting island communities; and (5) uncertainty about the relevance of large-scale projections for local scales. However, island societies may be somewhat resilient to climate change, because cultures are based on traditional knowledge, tools, and institutions that have allowed small island communities to persist during historical periods of biosocial change. Resilience is also provided by strong, locally based land and shore ownerships, subsistence economies, opportunities for human migration, and tight linkages among decisionmakers, state-level managers, and landowners (Barnett 2001, Mimura et al. 2007).

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (1.2 MB; pdf)
Giardina, Christian P. 2013. Appendix 1: Regional summaries - Hawaii and U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands. Pages 210-214 in: Vose, James M.; Peterson, David L.; Patel-Weynand, Toral (editors). Effects of climatic variability and change on forest ecosystems: a comprehensive science synthesis for the U.S. forest sector. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-870. Portland, OR: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station.