Species‐environment patterns of forest vegetation on the uplifted reef limestone of Atiu, Mangaia, Ma'uke and Miti'aro, Cook Islands

Janet Franklin, Mark Merlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Abstract. We examined woody species composition and its relation to environmental variables in native forest growing on four limestone islands in the southern Cook Islands: Atiu, Mangaia, Ma'uke, and Miti'aro. Relative dominance (percent basal area) of woody species in 74 sites was sampled using the point‐centered quarter method, and the data were analyzed using clustering and ordination techniques. These tropical forests have a relatively low diversity of native woody species (32 native and 10 introduced species occurred in our sites). Four forest types were recognized: Pandanus/Guettarda littoral forest (with several subtypes), Hernandia nymphaeifolia littoral forest, Barringtonia littoral forest, and makatea forest (dominated by Elaeocarpus tonganus and Hernandia moeren‐houtiana). These types were related, using canonical correspondence analysis, to geographical attributes (wind‐wardness, elevation, and proximity to the coast or roads) that served as surrogates for environmental variables (maritime influence, soil variation, and degree of human disturbance). The eigenvalues for this direct ordination were much lower than for indirect ordination (0.32 vs. 0.71 for the first axis), indicating that the measured geographical attributes could explain only a modest portion of the compositional variation. 1992 IAVS ‐ the International Association of Vegetation Science

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Vegetation Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Canonical Correspondence Analysis
  • Detrended Correspondence Analysis Makatea
  • Oceania
  • Ordination
  • Polynesia
  • Tropical forest
  • Two‐way indicator species analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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