Elements of Bio-Resources Assessment in the Solomon Islands

Academic Paper, 2020

128 Pages

Free online reading



CHAPTER 1 Man and bio resources in Oceania
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Materials and methods
1.3 Early navigation and colonization
1.4 Land cover changes
1.5 Arboriculture
1.6 Agricultural development
1.7 Impacts on wildlife
1.8 Corals reefs and nitrogen deposition
1.9 Land cover changes and national economies
1.10 Atmospheric Nitrogen deposition
1.11 Conclusions

CHAPTER 2 Timber Volume Increments in the Woodlots of Guadalcanal Island
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Materials and Methods
2.3 Results and Discussions
2.4 Conclusion and recommendations
2.5 Acknowledgement

CHAPTER 3 Megapodes, bats and the bush meat crises in the Solomon Islands
3.1 Introduction
3.1.1 The bushmeat crisis
3.1.2 The case of bats and flying foxes
3.1.3 The case of megapodes
3.1.4 Sustainable harvests
3.1.5 Conclusion
3.1.6 Acknowledgements

CHAPTER 4 Ancestral cultivated trees of the Solomon Islands

CHAPTER 5 Upgrading the training in forestry science
5.1 Background
5.2 Objectives
5.3 Organization of the Forestry Department within SINU
5.4 Brief outline of the proposed Forestry BSc program

CHAPTER 6 Establishment of a wood technology and value adding workshop
6.1 Definition
6.2 Goals
6.3 Objective
6.4 Materials Used in Carpentry
6.5 Tools and equipment
6.6 Budget

CHAPTER 7 Establishment of a tree nursery
7.1 Justification
7.2 Definition
7.3 Objectives
7.4 Characteristics
7.5 Budget

CHAPTER 8 Establishment of a herbarium
8.1 Justification
8.2 Objectives
8.3 Expected results of the project
8.4 Budget

CHAPTER 9 Establishment of an apiarium
9.1 Background
9.2 Goals
9.3 Specific Objectives
9.4 Evaluation and monitoring
9.5 Budget

CHAPTER 10 The potential of mushroom farming in the Solomon Islands
10.1 Background
10.2 Conditions for mushroom farming



The Solomon Islands comprise a constellation of islands and atolls, most of them still unpopulated; their documented re-discovery entails fascinating accounts of several expeditions. Solomon Islands got independence in 1975 ending 82 years of British rule. During World War II it was the battleground of major campaigns, few decades later instability erupted again due to internal land issues. Today the country is peaceful and remains endowed with a rich biodiversity, logging of hardwoods for exports is widespread; the official goal is to regulate those operations and diversify the economic production. Efforts concentrate on more roads and infrastructure development leaving nature conservation and alternative ways of rural sustainable development mostly to the guidance of cooperating agencies like JICA or KOIKA. However, many of those programs were short-lived, they last as long as the initial funds last, with no established programs of research to support the plans according to particular conditions. The buildup of self- sustaining programs (on biodiversity conservation, tree planting, small scale forestry, beekeeping, and mushroom farming) is imperative. Many of the current environmental problems in the country can have simple solutions executed by well-informed and organized landholders. This so-called grass root movement of self-reliance may also defy a still persistent tradition that started during the WW2 when vast amounts of military equipment and supplies were airdropped; making people believe that more technologically advanced societies will always deliver goods to them.

My interest is on another ubiquitous tension, the one between resource users and biological resources that in Melanesia span thousands of years. In this brief compilation made while lecturing on forestry at SINU I tried to put together articles prepared for seminars, some were published in conference proceedings or in a regional journal, and added summaries for small projects proposals having in mind that the best way for people to conserve nature is when they can get direct benefits from that, together with the wish to stimulate colleagues and students to continue the work in much more detail even with the difficulties we may find on the road. That is also, to my understanding, one of the best ways of capacity building for a university in the southern hemisphere.

The first chapter is a brief documentation of the history of land use and of the development of agriculture and arboriculture in the Pacific islands, highlighting the different impacts of anthropogenic actions on ecosystems vis-à-vis; importance of wildlife, coral reefs, deposition of nitrogen, land cover change and economy. The second chapter is an evaluation of timber growth for commercial species planted on the coast of Guadalcanal 10 to 20 years ago. The main purpose was to evaluate the volumetric increase of those tree species. This information is vital for both the industry and the government. With these numbers we can plan further plantations of the most successful species in the most suitable areas, and calculate cutting cycles. Similar surveys are needed in other islands especially in Kolombangara, the main site of industrial plantations in the country.

The third chapter is a review on the status and options for sustainable harvest of megapode eggs and for the conservation of bats and flying foxes in the islands. The first specie evolved complex ways of eggs incubation like burying them into debris mounds or sand holes, with fully developed chicks emerging from them. The eggs are regularly harvested by villagers being an important source of their protein intake and of income; the harvests do not follow and a misconception that the resource is unlimited prevails. Bats are major insect predators, whereas flying foxes are major flowers pollinators and seed dispersers in the forests significantly contributing to their regeneration. These species are endangered by extensive logging operations, settlements expansion and climate change. Their conservation will contribute to the permanence of natural habitats and to the stabilization of agricultural production (less soil erosion, better nutrients cycling, maintenance of bio diversity, and livelihoods improvement) so then we can better fulfill our duty, to work and keep the garden (Genesis 2:15).

Finally am adding a list of lesser known native trees highlighting their habitats, uses and morphological description. Information on them is scarce and dispersed. They were selected considering their prevalence on archaeological studies in the South Pacific, their usefulness and the availability of documented information regarding them. Their revalidation and conservation depends first on field surveys to carry out botanical collections, classify them, and preserve them for future reference; therefore a proposal for the establishment of an herbarium, alongside one for the establishment of a tree nursery for their mass propagation, and of a timber value adding workshop, noting that a training on wood working will enable the participants to understand the anatomical, physical and mechanical properties of wood, so when they engage on medium and large scale sawmills they will be familiar with the major processes, safety regulations, and with the proper manipulation and maintenance of machines at an operational or managerial level. Those proposals were part of a school submission to the FAO project: Integrated Forest Management in the Solomon Islands (GCP/SOI/001/GFF), and was approved for their implementation at the university with a bigger budget than the original SBD 100,000. In sum, the only way to warrant a sound assessment and monitoring of natural resources is by first an adequate training on both theory and practice. Much appreciated is the assistance of Dr. David Gegeo, director of SINU Office of Research, for facilitating funds needed for the forest inventory in the island; also very much appreciated is the cooperation of the following SNRAS lectures on the assembling of the necessary budgets for the proposals in local currency: Henry Kaomara, Peter Mahoa, Willie Waroka, Julius Horosia and Ramon Policarpio. Many students enthusiastically joined me on the field surveys; they are mentioned at the end of the chapters. Project proposals that need to be further completed are on beekeeping, on mushroom farming and on integrated fish farming that combines fish, swine, poultry and vegetable production.

Thank you

Honiara, October 2020

CHAPTER ONE. Man and bio resources in Oceania


Man’s future in the Pacific islands depends largely on his ability to conserve and manage island ecosystems. Since his arrival to the hundreds of islands, he was constantly developing new ways of resources use as food sources, construction materials, boatbuilding, medicines, and as a defence against nature abnormal events (droughts, floods and typhoons) or aggression from other groups. A historical review of the process of islands discovery, domestication of plants and impacts on wildlife is discussed alongside the effects of current main socioeconomic factors on land cover changes and of industrial pollutants accumulation on coastal ecosystems. It was found that although all islands states share a common ancestry and similar environments, the differences on forest cover and traditional utilization of natural bio-resources among islands are significant. A re-evaluation of the applicability of traditional practices at multiple sites can lessen impacts on the environment in societies that experience high demographic growth and where industrial development is unavoidable.


Pacific islands; traditional practices; colonization; land cover changes; pollution

1.1 Introduction

Man’s future in the Pacific islands depends largely on his ability to conserve and manage island ecosystems. Through the centuries and since his arrival to the hundreds of islands, man was constantly developing new ways of resources use as a food source, as raw material for construction and sailing, as medicine, and as a defence against nature extreme events or aggression, case of the artificial islands of Malaita in the Solomon Islands and Pohnpei in Micronesia built 1000-2000 years ago (Nunn 1994), an outstanding evidence of the ancient strife to modify nature for survival. Polynesians applied direct observation, trial and error, and persistent improvement of old methods on different environments and situations. Fast land cover changes due to modernization threat the integrity of the islands biodiversity and of the complex societies that subsist from the land; the former with some of the highest extinction rates (Hoffmann 2011) due to its insular nature (Baillie et al. 2004), threatening the self-sustaining capacity of ecosystems that support community livelihoods (SPREP 2014).

The South Pacific region includes the tropical islands of Melanesia and Polynesia from Papua New Guinea to Pitcairn, extending northward to the islands of Micronesia, most of which lie north of the equator, covering around 29 million km2, almost seven times the area of the Caribbean region. The land area is only 551,000 km2, of which Papua New Guinea alone makes up to 84% (Dahl 1985a) and together with the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Fiji and Vanuatu account to more than 85% of the population.

The islands land areas vary from 20 km2 (Nauru) to more than 450 000 km2 (Papua New Guinea). Nauru, Tuvalu and Tokelau are among the world’s smallest island countries and territories (SPC 2016). Characteristics such as human population, GDP, human development indexes, geology, topography and the extent of forest cover varies greatly among the islands, but they all are vulnerable to macroeconomic shocks and global warming rise (Teelucksingh et al. 2013).

Countries with the largest number of islands, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji, have comparatively large populations that mostly subsist from their land. They are also among the larger in area (over 31 km2), the highest (over 88 masl) and have comparatively low average island sizes (the first two comprise over 400 islands each). The large size of the high islands in Melanesia and the prevailing weather conditions create good opportunities for resource-based economic activities which evolved from small-scale disturbance (Thaman 2014) to intensive mono-cropping, commercial fishing and poorly controlled logging. Figure 1 shows that the larger is the average size of the island and/or the higher its elevation the more possibilities it offers for economic development. Higher elevations are associated with higher rainfall and landscapes variation which may cater diverse human needs (Nunn et al. 2016); furthermore, a rugged territory potentiality restricts the disturbance of natural forests. Rainfall is higher than in the low-lying islands further east, but eastern slopes typically receive more rain than the western ones (SPC 2016).

Most states in Oceania are largely dependent on decisions about fossil fuel use and deforestation made by larger and wealthy regions across the world (Jupiter et al. 2014), and import food, in many cases above the volumes that local agriculture and fishing could support; those imports artificially inflate the carrying capacity of an island by reducing the carrying capacity elsewhere (Lobban and Schefter 1997). The islands small size and distant location restrain their products to influence world prices (Ward 1985). Development concentrated in coastal zones triggering resource conflicts. The modern technologies adopted were often inappropriate for being of short useful life and beyond the maintenance capabilities of the local communities (Dahl 1985a). The islands face a global mean sea level rise projected to be between 0.4 and 0.8m at the end of this century (Aucan 2018) which may mean that nearly 12% of the islands in the world may disappear (Reinert et al. 2015); however, this prediction may have flawed assumptions due to the islands dynamic geology (Piesse 2019). By this 2020 year several Micronesian states committed to protect at least 30% of near shore marine resources and 20% of terrestrial resources (Jupiter et al. 2014). A main goal in this article is to discuss critical aspects to achieve sustainability on the use of bio resources although the meaning of “sustainable use of resource” is not always clear when different and simultaneous uses are conflicting in the same ecosystem (Schlaepfer and Eliot 2000). The main hypothesis is that a re-assessment of ancient practices of land and resources use may offer alternative solutions at different scales to the problem of balancing economic development with conservation in Oceania, since traditional practices normally pollute less, require low capitals and promote gender equality and diversity.

1.2 Materials and methods

A historical review of the colonization of Polynesia according to contrasting theories and new discoveries is discussed to understand the current trends of land cover changes driven by the human demographic increase, market demands, climate change, land scarcity and the impacts of industrialization on the environment.

Statistical data on land cover compiled by FAO (2000) was downloaded from worlddata online, then summarized, ranked and displayed on tables and graphs with excel. The data identifies a forest by both the presence of trees and the absence of other predominant land uses. The trees should reach a minimum height of 5m included reforested areas that have not yet reached a canopy cover of 10% and that minimum height. Total land areas do not include inland water bodies such as major rivers and lakes. Variations from year to year may be due to updated or revised data rather than to change in area.

Socioeconomic data per country was downloaded from official sources available online, then summarized, ranked and displayed on tables and graphs with excel and Ilwis gis software and compared across the island states to find out their degree of influence on deforestation.

The accumulation of nitrogen across the years, produced by urbanization and land development on coral reefs, was predicted and discussed. To estimate atmospheric nitrogen the data set used comprehends global gridded estimates of atmospheric deposition of total inorganic nitrogen (N), NHx (NH3 and NH4+), and NOy (all oxidized forms of nitrogen other than N2O) in mg N/m2/year, for the years 1860 and 1993 and projections for the year 2050. The data set was generated using a global three-dimensional chemistry-transport model (TM3) with a spatial resolution of 5 degrees longitude by 3.75 degrees latitude (Jeuken et al. 2001, Lelieveld and Dentener 2000). Nitrogen emission estimates (Van Aardenne et al. 2001) and projection scenario data (IPCC 1996, 2000) were used as input to the model. The model output grids were subdivided into 50km x 50km sub-grids to create spatially defined deposition maps. Data for the region between 150ᵒE to 90ᵒW longitude and 30ᵒS to 30ᵒN latitude was extracted and displayed on histograms.

1.3 Early navigation and colonization

The colonization of eastern Polynesia was almost complete within 600–800 years; it was driven by the population growth on small islands, purposeful exploration and by innovations on voyaging such that diminished distance as a barrier (Wilmshurst et al . 2008). They first moved from Africa to Sahul (New Guinea and Australia) between 40,000 and 60,000 BP (Before Present) reaching Reef and Santa Cruz Islands. A second wave of Lapita groups with Taiwanese origin moved south through the Philippines, Indonesian islands and Near Oceania between 5,000 and 6,000 BP (Hinkle 2007), arriving to Samoa and Tonga around 3000 years BP, and sailing east to the Society Islands by AD 1,100, from there they populated most of the Polynesian islands including Rapa Nui by AD 1200. The classic Lapita period with distinctive ware pots lasted 1300 years (Flannery 1994). The new settlers introduced different technologies and adopted oceanic cultivated and wild plants; the indigenous population and their languages were either displaced or incorporated (McClatchey 2012).

The absence of the Pacific rat in prehistoric Micronesia suggests that there was little contact between Polynesians and Micronesians until the arrival of Europeans (Flannery 1994). A hypothesis demonstrated experimentally and on simulations (Heyerdahl 1952 mentioned by Barber 2004) is the early contribution of South Americans arriving to Rapa Nui by AD 1340, either on their own rafts (Figures 2b and 3), or together with some Polynesians returning from visits to South America (Thorsby 2016). Chroniclers recorded an Inca expedition into Oceania by 1480 in which the Inca Tupac Yupanqui set sail from Ecuador with a fleet of balsa rafts and thousands of men and returned a year later recounting the discovery of two inhabited islands (Heyerdhal 1955).

Sailors moved from island to island exploiting westerly wind reversals from November to January (Hinkle 2007). A windward seafaring capacity was not essential; they could course to about 75° off the wind on long ocean voyages (Finney 1977). The most accurate direction indicators for navigation, still memorized by few, is the regular rise and set of stars on the horizon that remains constant throughout the year (Devita 1975). They also capitalized on the marine turtles migration patterns to locate remote and unknown islands. The depth and speed at which they migrate makes their following by outrigger canoes feasible (Wilmé et al. 2016). In the Marshall Islands, navigators still detect land remotely by sensing how islands disrupt swells (Finney 1977). For at least 14,000 years the sea level has been raising, indeed, the inundation of many islands and coastlines during this period have provided the impetus for people to set out on the colonization of the Pacific (Nunn 1994); contrarily, the Little Ice Age (AD 1400-1850) could be a factor of voyaging decline (Bridgeman 1983). A second reason of voyaging decline could be the almost simultaneous decline of fishing and of imported stones (Rolett 2002).

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Figure 1. Island countries according to their average area (km2) and maximum elevation (m). Adapted from Nunn et al. (2016). Average island areas for Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Tokelau and Tuvalu are based on polygons that include several islands.

The canoes were two parallel large hulls, equal in length, lashed side by side. The space between the hulls allowed for storage of food, hunting materials, and nets when embarking on long voyages (Bellwood 1978). Captain Cook counted 330 double-hulled canoes at Tahiti on a single occasion, some of them measuring 108ft length (Rolett 2002). The tepukei, still built in Taumako island (George 1998) is a sailing canoe steered with a long paddle that Santa Cruz people used to go as far as the Solomon Islands (O'Ferrall 1908). A well-equipped canoe could reach 100 miles in a day, however surviving rough seas and returning home from a failed search were paramount concerns (Massey 2009).

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Figure 2a. Melanesian traditional outrigged canoe (left) from The Hawaiian Canoe by Tommy Holmes (1981); and 2b. South American balsa raft of the time for comparison (right). Source: 2004–2020 Florida Center for Instructional Technology.

Sewn-plank canoes (Figure 2) for deep-sea voyages were built in California, Chilean coast, Polynesian islands and still in Western province of the Solomon Islands. The method involved the joining of pierced planks with coconut fibre rendering them watertight primarily with the resin of Parinarium laurinum or of Artocarpus altilis and bark cloth made from the mulberry tree. The paddles were leaf-shaped. The canoes could achieve a speed of 3.4–5.6 knots (Levers 1963). Alternatively, the South American balsa raft (Figure 2b) was propelled by a cotton sail (not shown) and steered by movable centre-boards. The masts were curved and no longer than 7.5 metres and about 16 centimetres in diameter. Atop the large balsa logs were 1-3 platforms of cane or bamboo and a shelter (not shown) which kept the cargo dry. The rafts could achieve speeds of 4 to 5 knots and transport up to 50 men. The main raw material, the balsawood tree native from Ecuador, is now planted extensively by smallholders in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea, supplying 9% of the world’s demand (Jenkin et al. 2019) for wood composite boards and boats building (Dewan and Hosler 2008).

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Figure 3. Colonization routes in the Pacific according to Rull (2010) showing the directions of Austronesian expansion from Taiwan and likely timing of expansion into the Pacific. Dates are based on current archaeological evidence (Matisoo Smith 2007).

1.4 Land cover changes

Aside from forests in higher areas, many of the islands were covered with grasslands, a sign of burning due to shifting cultivation (Nunn 1994). In Hawaii, burnt layers dating from the sixteenth century marked the beginning of a period of massive upland erosion and land degradation at the time of maximum population pressure (Kirch 1982). The removal of forest cover exposed the comparatively fertile and thick soils of hillsides to erosion; sometimes a thin A horizon overlayed the regolith or weathered bedrock (Nunn 1994). On Rapa Nui Island, grasses and twigs gradually replaced firewood (Orliac 1986), on Lakeba island the uplands were burnt to create lowland swamps suitable for taro (Hughes et al. 2007),

The first Europeans that arrived at Mangareva islands observed coastal plains with sparse forests and barren mountains; Captain Bellingshausen observed in 1820 that due to the scarcity of sizable trees the canoes were made of planks bound together by twisted fibres ropes from tree barks (Bellingshausen 1945). Trees depletion could be caused by a massive predation of palm fruits by Pacific rats, which hindered forest regeneration (Hunt 2007), preventing further voyaging to other islands (Weisler 1997). Coastal trees like Pandanus were replaced with coconut trees (Stevenson 2015). In New Zealand there was nearly a complete replacement of Podocarp dominated forests and palm trees into angiosperm-dominated forests which today are assumed to be climax (Wilmshurst et al. 2008).

Wild plants utilized in Near Oceania were more diverse than in Remote Oceania (McClatchey 2012). Western New Guinea has more than 1,000 plant genus, with the number decreasing sharply east of the Solomon Islands. Fiji, Samoa and Western Carolines islands house more than 300 genera whereas the eastern islands from 100-200. Hawaii with an area five times larger than Samoa has only 230 genera, while Fiji islands, with a similar area as Hawai’i, has 460 (Merrill 1981).

Natural forests are often overharvested for timber, fuel, materials, food or medicines, and gradually replaced by secondary forests, grasslands or monocrops (Keppel et al. 2014). Mangrove forests are being depleted at an annual rate of 1% to 2% (Reinert et al. 2015); they cover ¾ of the tropical coasts, are home to a rich biodiversity, reduce sea waves energy by 75%, absorb pollution including heavy metals (DEF 2014) and are used by locals on construction and in the production of medicines, dyes and garlands (Thaman 1990).

1.5 Arboriculture

Trees have been extremely useful in the Pacific island communities even when its total area is insignificant when compared to the global figure (Wilke et al. 2002); indeed, several authors conclude that arboriculture was a central economic activity of many Pacific Islands by the time of European contact (Millerstrom and Coil 2008); around twenty of them including trees, shrubs, large woody monocots and several herbaceous plants were introduced by Polynesian sailors; Nauru among other islands have very few indigenous plants and are dominated by exotic ones (Figure 4). Access to woody resources was differentiated depending on social rank and site function (Sarout et al. 2015), today the land ownership systems are complex and vary greatly, but generally land is allocated to groups based on common descent, location, and participation in social and economic activities (SPC 2016). Samoans practiced shifting cultivation for three millennia without deforesting their islands or failing to meet their social obligations (Leach 1999). The frequent occurrence of Canarium indicum remains in excavations speak of its dominance as a nut source in the New Guinea islands some 3 500 years ago (Yen 1993); probably some domesticated species of Canarium and Barringtonia in Remote Oceania became feral in modern times (McClatchey 2012). Up to the 17th century AD the planting of trees like Ficus benjamina, Artocarpus altilis, Fagraea berteroana, Thespecia populnea, Calophyllum inophyllum Aleurites moluccana and Casuarina equisetifolia were associated to religious (marae) structures and elite occupation, and their timber was used on the manufacture of high-value objects; Inocarpus fagifer, Aleurites moluccana, Spondias dulcis and Homalanthus sp. were common fuelwood sources; Cocos nucifera and Artocarpus altilis were burned only when becoming fruitless; and Santalum sp, Erythrina variegate, Hibiscus tiliaceus and Cordyline were used in food offerings on marae (Orliac 1986). The leaves of Ficus sp., Gnetum sp., Morinda citrifolia, Polyscias sp. and Pseuderanthemum sp. are still eaten when common food is scarce (McClatchey 2012). Thespesia populnea is still sought for carving due to its durability, attractive wood grain and scent (Whistler 2009); it is a coastal tree sometimes found inland which reflects intentional planting (Decker 1970). Today, the Moluccan ironwood (Intsia bijuga), extensively used for timber and carving became extinct in many of the islands (SPREP 2014). All those cultivated trees transformed natural forests into productive tree landscapes even before residential settlement took place (Stevenson et al. 2015, Millerstrom and Coil 2008).

Exotic plants cultivated today, some of them became naturalized, include kapok (Ceiba pentandra), frangipani (Plumeria rubra and P. obtusa), allspice and bay rum (Pimenta dioica and P. racemosa), jambolan (Syzygium cumin), leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) and guava (Psidium guava). Exotic trees used for timber and planted in small scale are Albizia falcataria, silky oak (Grevillea robusta), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus sp.), cedar (Cedrela odorata), mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) and Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea) (Clarke and Thaman 1993).

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Figure 4. Number of flora species of Nauru according to their presumed origin (Adapted from Thaman et al. 1994).

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Figure 5. Rates (%) of forest land and of coconut plantations in the South Pacific (FAO 1995).

In several islands like Kiribati the coconut tree is the sole cash and export crop, and a staple food, drink and source of raw materials for construction (MELAD 2014). The total cover of coconut plantations is high in Polynesian states: From 9.2% (Tonga) to 66.6% (Tokelau) (Figure 5).

Today the islands forest cover ranges from less than 1% (Marshall Islands and Nauru) to 76-96% of the total land area (Cook Islands, Palau and the Solomon Islands) (Wilke et al. 2002). The Melanesian islands are all heavily forested (Figure 5), from 47% (Fiji) to with 93% (Papua New Guinea). With exception of Fiji that has around one hectare of forest per capita, the other Melanesian islands have from 5 to 10 hectares of forest land per capita (FAO 1995). In a survey at Kolombangara (Solomon Islands) the basal was between 20-43 m2/ha, which are lower than in temperate conifer plantations; and the volumes ranged between 30-55 m3/ha, which are lower than yields from South Asian forests (Marten 1985).

1.6 Agricultural development

The first settlers were restricted to wild foods when arrived, which motivated them to explore wild food resources (mostly marine) until gardens were established (McClatchey 2012). Resembling Aboriginal practices in northeaster Australia they manipulated fruit and rhizome-bearing plants (Hynes and Chase 1982). Hawaiians had short-fallow dry gardens on the leeward slopes of Hawaiian d elaborate pond fields in the windward valleys. Anutans combined short-fallow gardening on the island’s plateau with longer-fallow swidden in gullies and arboriculture and perennial cropping on the coastal lowland (Yen 1973), and tikopians still practice trees genetic improvement for certain species (Kirch 1994), build cobble seawalls along sand dunes, and plant Calophyllum trees to stabilize them (Kirch 1982). Ancient Rapa nuis practiced lithic mulching by placing rock walls up to 2m high around their gardens in order to preserve heat and moisture and prevent soil erosion (Stevenson et al. 1999). Besides plot walls and planting pits for aroids, food preservation pits spread the yields over time (Yen 1973).

If not introduced on the first voyages, most cultigens were distributed throughout Polynesia during AD 1000-1500 (Hather and Weisler 2000). The first Europeans who landed on Easter Island documented the cultivation of bananas, sweet potatoes, yams and sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) (Rull et al. 2010). Mountain fields were planted with yams and bananas while coastal plains were planted with taro and bananas (Cauchois 2002). Today those crops are widespread together with exotic crops like citrus, papaya, water melon, tomatoes and other vegetables, and industrial crops like sugar-cane (Saccharum officinarum), coconuts (Cocos nucifera) and cotton (Gossypium sp) (Nunn 1994). Metroxylon sp. (sago palm) was harvested for its stem starch, however in most locations it was more valued for its leaves as thatching material (McClatchey 2012). The banana tree (Musa acuminata) was one of the earliest plants to be domesticated, first in Southeast Asia and possibly New Guinea, eastern Indonesia and the Philippines, probably to use its fibres, leafs for roofing or its edible male buds (Sharrok and Frison 1998). Dioscorea (yam) and arboriculture dominated on the drier lands, requiring require fertile but well-drained soils and about nine months or longer to mature (Handy et al. 1991, Kirch 1994).

The introduction of the sweet potato (kūmara) to Polynesia remains an enigma. Hypotheses on its arrival remain open (Rull 2019). It was found in dry soil planting pits and in mounds of Rapa Nui and South Island (New Zealand) conforming to a widespread Oceanic yam agronomy. Kūmara was selected for transoceanic transfer as a fast growing, hardy yam that produces in three to six months compared to nine months or more for yam (Barber 2012), tolerates a variety of soils including coastal dunes (Barber 2004), and demands less labour than other crops which prompted its popularity in the Solomon Islands in the last fifty years (Birch-Thomsen and Anette Reenberg 2014). The giant swamp taro (Cyrtosperma merkusii) has been planted on Micronesian marginal islands but is uncommon in Polynesia (Weisler 1997). Possibly original from Southeast Asia, its domestication occurred over a wide geographic area involving diverse wild forms (Yen 1993). Irrigated taro was intercropped with droughts sensible breadfruit as a backup when rainfalls lessen (Millerstrom and Coil 2008). On atolls, Cyrtosperma was grown in baskets of compost set in pits dug down to the level of fresh water table. This type of intensification together with post-harvest elaborations including storage techniques and pit fermentation to cover seasonal shortages, terracing, irrigation systems and raised fields to control the water table, increased food supply at the expense of more labour (Ward 1985). Today traditional root and tree cropping are in decline in most of the islands (Clarke and Thaman 1993).

Plantations of taro in Fiji and Samoa, ginger in Fiji, kava on the sloping lands of Fiji and the Federated States of Micronesia and squash in Tonga (Buresova and McGregor 1990) are reported to cause soil erosion of up to 24-79 t/ha/year (Nun 1990). The expansion of mechanized agriculture on usually rented lands does not favour agroforestry practices.

1.7 Impacts on wildlife

Native mammals are limited to a few marsupials, rats (Rattus, Melomys) and bats; only the lasts dispersed into remote Oceania, the large blossom-eating bats (Pteropus sp.) and the small insectivorous Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus). Most of the reptiles are found in Near Oceania or in the larger islands (Zeagler 2002).

Seabirds and land birds account for the greatest diversity of vertebrates in the Pacific islands. They were abundant when humans arrived (Akimichi 2000). The number of marine fauna species also decreases from west to east (Figure 7). An incentive for exploration was the reward of finding large birds colonies, of few species, on uninhabited islands (Anderson 1996) but settlers also fed on snakes, lizards, bats and rats. Over half of the 40 indigenous bird species disappeared from the Hawaiian Islands when Polynesians arrived by AD400 (McNeill 1994).

Island biotas adapted to the landscapes; the banded iguana (Brachylophus fasciatus) with an omnivorous diet, thrives in areas with both wet and cool weather, whereas the herbivorous crested iguana (B. vitiensis) is found only on the outer islands of Viti Levu, Fiji Islands (Nunn 1994). New Caledonia’s toxic soils, its small size and its position above the Tropic of Capricorn derived in low biological productivity where species that need large home ranges can sustain only small populations; and with reptiles, more abundant than birds, filling a variety of ecological niches (Flannery 1994).

Twenty thousand years ago voyagers from New Britain caged and transported to other islands a specie of cuscus (a large marsupial) and later a specie of wallaby (Flannery 1994). Pig remains were associated with marae religious sites confirming the social importance of this animal. Today they are fed with the leaves of Pisonia grandis, a preferred nesting site for the black noddy tern (Anous tenuirostris) (Thaman 1990). Black rats (Rattus rattus) were responsible for the early extinction of the chicken in Mangareva Island (Green and Weisler 2014). They arrived to the Marquesas Islands 200 years ago and probably multiplied to plague proportions within a few years (Decker 1970). They also exterminated nine of the fifteen endemic land bird species at the unpopulated Lord Howe Island (Flannery 1994).

Other Lapita age faunal assemblages from cave sites on the larger islands contain terrestrial taxa such as fruit bat (Pteropus sp.), chicken (Gallus gallus) and several species extirpated or driven to extinction including a crocodile (Volia athollandersoni), a megapode (Megapodius alimentum) and other terrestrial birds (Worthy and Anderson 2009, Matisoo-Smith 2007).

Animal husbandry remained viable as long as fishing was abundant, since the diet of both pig and dog was based on agricultural foods, their exploitation increasingly required a heavy investment of economic resources with the human demographic growth (Bay-Petersen 1983).

The introduction of commensal species like the Pacific rat (Rattus exulans), pig (Sus scrofa), chicken (Gallus gallus), lizard (Lipunia noctua) and the land snail (Partula hyaline) impacted on the environment. Feral rabbits on the Hawaiian island of Lisianski so depleted the vegetation that they starved to death, allowing the vegetation regrowth thereafter (Nunn 1990). Native crocodiles and feral pigs consume sea turtle eggs and hatchlings, spoiling the beach for future nesting when digging up nests (Lethbridge et al. 2013, Whiting and Whiting 2011). In some areas individual pigs have been recorded to destroy almost every nest at one beach (Whytlaw et al. 2013). Sea turtles are also hunted by cats, dogs, crocodiles, gulls, herons, water rats, crabs, tropical fire ants and hermit crabs (Guinea 2013, Hilmer et al. 2010). Predation by introduced animals is a concern in remote areas where regular patrols, control measures and monitoring are infrequent or not possible. Fiji islands compared to neighbouring islands fares better on invasive species control (Figure 6) by strict border and quarantine controls (DEF 2014). Pollution is another factor associated with wildlife populations decline, the forested habitats of endemic booby (Sula abbotti) and the robber crab (Birgus latro) are threatened by phosphate mining at Christmas Island (Nunn 1994). Once phosphate mining ended at Nauru, the first colonizers were highly dispersible, exotic weeds that were in turn displaced by native plants (Manner et al. 1985).

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Figure 6. Summary of invasive species in Fiji Islands (DEF 2014).

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Figure 7. Number of coral fish species in the Pacific (modified from Akimichi 2000).

1.8 Corals reefs and nitrogen deposition

The influence of human action in the ocean will increase in the future as both the human population and the per capita use of resources continue to grow (Duce 2008) dominating the nitrogen budget at regional and global scales (Galloway et al. 2004). Although nitrogen is an essential nutrient for the phytoplankton to photosynthesize, grow, and feed in turn the entire ecosystem; its excessive deposition disrupt ecosystems adapted to the low levels provided normally by seabirds guano (Lorrain et al. 2017). The increase of the supply enhance algae production, which when decomposing takes away oxygen from other organisms, resulting in hypoxic (low-oxygen) conditions (Friedrichs et al. 2018) with cascading impacts on water quality and fisheries (Paerl et al. 2002). The algal bloom impedes growth, affecting the calcification and reproduction of corals, or inhibiting the colonization of their recruits by altering the biofilm bacterial communities, some of which provide chemical cues necessary for the settlement of coral larvas (Sneed et al . 2015). Coastal nutrient enrichment appears alongside herbivore scarcity due to overfishing (Fabricius 2005, Hughes et al. 2007).

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Figure 8. The global nitrogen cycle (Nature Education 2010). Since the mid-1900s, humans have been exerting an ever-increasing impact on the global nitrogen cycle. Human activities, such as making fertilizers and burning fossil fuels, have significantly altered the amount of fixed nitrogen in the Earth's ecosystems. In fact, some predict that by 2030, the amount of nitrogen fixed by human activities will exceed that fixed by microbial processes (Vitousek 1997). Increases in available nitrogen can alter ecosystems by increasing primary productivity and impacting carbon storage (Galloway et al. 1994). The transformation of the modern global nitrogen cycle compared to the pre-industrial nitrogen cycle has been greater than for any other biogeochemical cycle (Holland and Weitz 2003).

1.9 Land cover changes and national economies

The total forest cover in the Pacific islands is inversely correlated with the total agricultural land cover, (r = -0.4838, p = 0.9869), the population density (r = -0.3488, p = 0.9442) and the percentage of unemployed people (r = -0.1901, p = 0.8016), and it is positively correlated with the GDP (r = 0.0228, p = 0.46); disclosing how a strong economy can contribute to the maintenance of forest lands in the islands.

Table 1. Demography and land use statistics for Oceania islands. Forest was determined both by the presence of trees and the absence of other predominant land uses. The data was compiled from worlddata (2020).

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PNG forest land (not shown in the graph) declined from 31 730ha (1990) to 30,601ha (2000). Adapted from Wilke et al. (2002). Papua New Guinea is the largest island and the world's third largest exporter of tropical hardwood logs with the annual trade valued at more than US$ 220 million (FAO 2000). In Melanesia only Vanuatu expanded its forests area by 6 000ha in that decade.

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Figure 9. Forest area (1 000ha) in 1990 and in 2000 year for Micronesia and Polynesia islands.

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Figure 10. GDP per capita (grey circles) in Oceania. Scale: 1: 30 000 000 at 30ᵒS. Mercator projection. The symbols size were stretched from 3–100pt to represent GDP values. Own illustration, statistical data from worlddata (2020).

Phosphate mining provides high GDP per capita for Nauru of around US$10 000 in 1993, compared to US$2 400 for Papua New Guinea, US$2 160 for Samoa, US$2 590 for the Solomon Islands, and US$2 160 for Tonga (Hoffman 1998).

Table 2. Statistics of main economic metrics and land cover rates in the Pacific islands. Data from worlddata (2020) and Indexmundi (2020).

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Figure 11. Countries with low rates of population density and correspondingly high forest cover rates are: Palau (88% forest area, 39hab/km2), Solomon Islands (76%, 23hab/km2), PNG (73%, 19hab/km2), Fiji (56%, 48hab/km2), New Caledonia (45%, 15hab/km2), and Vanuatu (36%, 24hab/km2). Their corresponding totals for GDP are 2 138, 15 859, 6 267, 9 443 and 3 124 USD per capita. American Samoa and Guam although with high population densities also have high rates of forest land.

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Figure 12. Countries with low rates of unemployment and correspondingly high forest cover rates are: Solomon Islands (0.6%, 76%), Palau (1.7%, 88%), and Fiji (4.1%, 56%). The GDP for Palau is of USD 15 859 per capita. Marshall Islands even though having a high unemployment rate, have a high forest cover.

Countries with larger rates of agricultural land compared to forested lands are: Tokelau (60% agricultural land), Tuvalu (60%), Tonga (44%), and Wallis and Futuna (43%). Their corresponding rates of unemployment are 22%, 6.5%, 1.1%, and 8.8%. Their corresponding rates of population density are of 107, 384, 138, and 112hab/km2; and of GDP are of 6 257, 3 701, 4 364 and 12 640 USD per capita.

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Figure 13. Countries with high rates of forest lands have also correspondingly high GDP values, then high unemployment rates and high population density. The trend of these last do not follow closely the rates of agricultural land, with exception of Marshall Islands, American Samoa, and Tuvalu. Some official statistics do not follow standard criteria, in the Solomon Islands most of the population engage on subsistence agriculture, however its rate of agricultural land appears low, however, and its agricultural area per capita in 2006 decreased by one third compared to 1966, due to the long internal social turmoil (Birch-Thomsen and Anette Reenberg 2014).

Table 3. Pearson correlations. P-value evaluates how well the data rejects the null hypothesis, which states that there is no relationship between two compared groups. If the p-value is less than or equal to the significance level, then the correlation is different from 0.

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1.10 Atmospheric Nitrogen deposition

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Figures 14-21. Histograms of total inorganic nitrogen (N), NHx (NH3 and NH4+), and NOy (all oxidized forms of nitrogen other than N2O), in mg N/m2/year, for the years 1860 and 1993, and projections for the year 2050.

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Figure 22. Right: Averages for the concentrations of Total N, NHx and NOy in mg/m2/year. Total N increased 4.3 times from 1860 to 1993 and 1.8 times from 1993 to 2050; NHx increased 6.7 times from 1860 to 1993, and 2.2 times from 1993 to 2050 year. NOy increased 3.58 times from 1860 to 1993. Left: Standard deviations for the concentrations of Total N, NHx and NOy in mg/m2/year.

1.11 Conclusions

Although small island developing states greatly differ in terms of geographic, biological, social, cultural, and economic characteristics, they share common problems on conservation biology and on the sustainability of land use systems. Land and marine biodiversity conservation approaches face similar challenges. Holistic local marine and terrestrial management areas proved to be the best means of building resilience and of assisting the recovery of overexploited areas (Thaman et al. 2014).

Theories regarding the population of Polynesia remain open, however there are evidences of sophisticated techniques reached on navigation, farming in extreme conditions, arboriculture and utilization of the native flora for multiple purposes with potential to contribute to the quest of sustainable alternatives of resources use in the modern world. Polynesian states today display different degrees of development, and of demographic, economic and environmental issues. Generally countries with higher GDP per capita have higher rates of forested areas, whereas countries with high rates of first population density and secondly of unemployment, have a larger extent of cropped areas compared to forested land. Studies on islands formation and erosion will assist resettlement plans to withstand sea level rise. The deposition of nitrogen increased several times in the last decades due to urban sprawl, use of agrochemicals and industrialization affecting coastal trophic chains; integrated management plans are needed to ensure the compatibility between terrestrial development with reef and lagoon ecological functions by understanding and addressing the changing dynamics of coral replenishment on algal-dominated reefs. Exotic plants and animals have a severe impact on native wildlife and vegetation. Widespread customary land tenure systems usually hinder private investments on natural resources exploration and exploitation but also provide effective regulations that prevent a potential overuse of resources. In sum, managers, scientists and citizens need to propose consensual adaptive management plans that supply social needs while maintaining ecological capacities (Bormann et al. 1994), success will depend on political will, regional collaboration and international support. An African popular credo regarding land applies here: it “belongs to a vast family of which many are dead, a few are living and countless numbers are still unborn” (Richardson 1985).


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CHAPTER 2. Timber Volume Increments in the Woodlots of Guadalcanal Island


This paper aims to quantify the growth performance of four exotic timber species commonly planted in the country which goes in line with a new strategy of the Solomon Islands government to restructure and further develop the forestry sector. The inventories were carried out in three woodlots of the island of Guadalcanal, of 5, 11.25 and 11.5 years of age. A total of 726 trees were measured and results of mean annual increments were statistically compared. Tree heights were estimated by trigonometry, and their commercial volumes by considering the main stem as a frustum of paraboloid. It was found that the tree dimensions and the mean annual increments for the tree species at Tetere were similar, bigger basal areas being achieved by trees in the borders of the plantation due to less competition. The annual diameter increment per tree was higher for the three species compared to overseas data of the same species. The performance of eucalyptus deglupta was exceptional even in areas where the other species did not perform well. The lack of pruning and thinning on teak slows down potential volume gains, and lowers the quality of the main stem. Acacia trees were sensible to diseases in the island but further results from other provinces are needed, including soils and canopy cover assessments. Mahogany grows well if placed on humid areas or areas without risk of drying and does not need regular pruning. It is recommended to explore the possibilities to interplant eucalyptus with mahogany and/or teak; as well as of intercropping with native fast growing hardwoods such as flueggea sp., which provide farmers with early returns and facilitates thinning of the plantation. The paper expects to contribute to the optimization of tree plantations by enhancing their productivity and predicting with more accuracy their potential economic returns.

Keywords: exotic timber plantations, timber volume estimation, Solomon Islands


The Solomon Islands (SI) is a double chain of islands located in the southwest Pacific between 155o30’ and 170o30’W longitude and between 5o10’ and 12o45’S latitude (Whitmore, 1969). Guadalcanal Island is of volcanic origin and the largest of the country with an area of 5,302 km2. Its highest point at Kavo Range reaches 2330masl; its coasts sometimes lines with mangroves and are crossed by short, rapid streams coming down from the mountains (www.britannica.com). The temperatures are stable throughout the year (30/31°C) from November to April with a slight drop from May to October. The rainfall ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 mm yr-1 with a slight decrease from May to November (Meteorological services division, 2019). The soils are deep, intensely weathered and leached on the flatlands, and shallow with colluvial rock debris on steep slopes. Most soils are acid (pH 3 to 5) clays with low plant nutrient contents (Lee, 1969), in some areas they are rich alluvium soils (Solomon Islands Historical Encyclopaedia, 2013).

Until 1997 the forestry sector in the Solomon Islands accounted for 45-55% of the foreign exchange and 20-30% of the government revenues. The volume of logs exported increased from 509,400m3 in 2001 to 3 402,339 m3 in 2017 year; within that time period 9,839.59ha of natural forests were cleared (REDD+ Implementation Unit, 2018). Therefore the current government aims to restore sustainable levels of logging rates, and one of the best ways is by planning industrial timber plantations. Fisheries and agriculture are also key contributors to GDP, but subsistence agriculture is the dominant economic activity with oil palm, copra, coconut and cocoa being the main agricultural exports. The country’s fish resource is substantial but the sustainable annual catch level of 120,000 tons was not yet attained by 2015 (Solomon Islands Initial National Communications, 2015).

Plantations from non-traditional (new) regions like Melanesia have been growing in size and economic importance, and, thus, have been playing an increasing role as a source of the world industrial wood (Sedjo, 1999). However, planting native trees is still perceived as a risky activity due to limited knowledge of their performance and due to marked losses of newly established seedlings attributed to insect pests (Plath et al; 2011). Table 1 shows that the main species planted in the SI for commercial purposes are exotic.

Table 1 Tree species commonly planted in the Solomon Islands. Source: Ministry of Forests and Research (2012).

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The total forest planted area in 2005 was 28,000ha, 7,600ha less than in 2003 year, distributed on Alu, Kolombangara, Viru, Gizo, Choiseul Bay, Moli, Allardyce and Santa Cruz islands. The main species planted are g melina arborea, campnosperma brevipetiolatum, eucalyptus deglupta, terminalia calamansanai, T. brassiai, acacia spp. and swetenia macrophylla. Replanting after harvest favours G. arborea, E. deglupta, tectona grandis and S. macrophylla (Table 1) with a predicted mean annual growth of 5 m3 ha-1 yr-1 and 30 years rotations (Pauku, 2009).

Timber growth refers to the dimensional increase of one or more individuals in a forest stand over a given period of time, while yield to their dimensions at the end of a certain period of time. A growth equation may predict the growth of diameter, basal area or volume in units per annum on even-aged stands, as a function of age and other stand characteristics; whereas a yield equation would predict the diameter, stand basal areas or total volume production attained at a specified age (Vanclay, 1994). The significant differences in growth reported among individual trees affect the predictions of future timber yield which evaluate the economic viability of sustainable forest management (Brienen and Zuidema, 2007), and derive on practical recommendations as to how farmers should manage their trees to achieve stable timber outputs in the shortest time (Somarriba, 1990).

Several individual and stand characteristics can be estimated from tree bole diameter measurements (Turner, 2001). For example, the 64% of trees in the rainforests of Malaysia have diameter growth rates averaging 1mm yr-1 over a 20-30 year period with some rates reaching 15 mm yr-1 (Manokaran and Kochummen, 1994). Larger trees grow faster probably because they receive more sunlight (Turner, 2001), however, when they reach very large sizes its height growth slows down and the diameter growth continues due to the exposition to strong winds and the development of wider crowns (King, 1996). However, growth rates at natural forests are still lower than those reached in plantations by the same species, where diameter increments greater than 10 mm yr-1 are common, and even greater than 20 mm yr-1 are known (Ng and Tang, 1974).

Tectona grandis (teak) a native tree to Southeast Asia and India, is one of the most widely planted hardwoods in the world (2.25 million ha) (Ball et al., 1999). Its volume mean annual increment ranges from 2 to over 15 m3 ha-1 yr-1 by the middle of 30-40 years rotation (White, 1991).

Swietenia macrophylla (mahogany) is a fast-growing, light-demanding specie that appears late in the succession when there is an opening or canopy disturbance (Grogan et al., 2005). In Belize they grow 0.6-0.80 cm yr-1 depending on the site, on logged areas growth decreases to 0.17-0.74 cm yr-1 (Bird 1998). Its mean diameter increment (MAI) exceeds 1cm yr-1, with slightly higher growth rates in trees of over 50 cm diameter at breast height (DBH). In Mexico the diameter at breast height (DBH) of mahogany grows in average 0.73 cm yr−1 reaching a harvestable DBH of 55 cm in 75 years (Negreiros-Castillo and Mize, 2014). The inter-individual variation in growth rates is significant, normally from 0.16-0.38 cm yr-1 (Snook, 2000; Negreros-Castillo and Mize, 2006) with the fastest-growing individuals growing from 2 cm yr-1 (Shono and Snook, 2006) to 2.5 cm yr-1 (Lamb, 1966; Shono and Snook 2006; Grogan et al ., 2010). Mahogany seedlings reach 20cm of DBH in 30 years, afterwards the diameter increases 0.8 cm yr-1 (Snook, 2003).

Acacia mangium (acacia) is a secondary tree species in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (Gunn and Midgley, 1991), widely planted through Asia and the Pacific. It grows fast, has quality wood and is tolerant to a wide range of soils and environments (National Research Council, 1983). Its girth growth reaches 15cm in three years, then slows down after the 5th year, and levels off at around 25cm by the age of 8 years. The height growth follows a similar trend; in the first 2-3 years increases moderately up to 10–15m, reaching 25m by year five and levelling off afterwards (Krisnawati et al; 2011). Growth rates for acacias growing in the arid tropics vary from 2 mm yr−1 in Southern Turkana (mean annual rainfall: 300 mm) to 14 mm yr−1 in Serengeti with an annual rainfall of 500 mm (Andersen and Krzywinski, 2007). It grows faster with fertilization (Cole et al, 1996).

Eucalyptus deglupta (eucalyptus) trees are some of the fastest growing. The average of diameter and height increments of four eucalyptus species in 10 years old plantations at New Zealand were of 2.1 cm yr−1 and 1.9 m yr−1 respectively (Miller et al., 2000). In Madang, Papua New Guinea, the dominant trees reached 38m in height and 39cm in DBH in three years, which corresponds to a volumetric mean annual increment (MAI) of 80-90 m3 ha-1 yr-1 (Eldridge et al; 1993). In Costa Rica they were much lower: 2 - 39 m3 ha-1 yr-1 in 2-4 years old stands (Sánchez, 1994). The maximum recorded yield was of 89 m3 ha-1 yr-1 on 4.5 years (Ugalde, 1980). Mixed-species plantations of eucalyptus and A. mangium enhance the aboveground stand production on poor tropical soils with low water availability (Boullet et al, 2013).

The research questions in this paper were: Which of the tree species grow faster?; Is the tree location a significant factor on volumetric increase?; How do these tree species perform in the province compared with similar plantations overseas?; and what are the annual increments of basal area and volume per specie per year?.


The inventories were based on three woodlots in Guadalcanal Island of 5, 11.25 and 11.5 years of age. A total of 726 trees were measured and results of mean annual volume increment were statistically compared. Tree heights were estimated by trigonometry and volumes by considering the main stem as a frustum of paraboloid and a taper factor of 0.7. A 100% inventory was performed at Tetere and Golf sites, and a sampling at Aruligo along transects until at least 50 trees were measured for specie. All the trees were coded with white paint at 1.4m above the ground. Tree heights were estimated with a Suunto clinometer and meter tape by trigonometry, the basal area at breast height with metric tapes (BA = 𝜋𝑟2) and tree volumes were estimated as the product of both considering a taper factor of 0.7. For effects of comparison the variables that were measured were standardized; namely commercial and/or total heights and diameters and breast height, to then calculate basal areas and commercial volumes per specie and per site, and then their MAIs. Not all the species were found at each site (figure 2). In most cases the commercial height was measured, for very young plantations the total height was measured. To compare the average performance of the specie with data from overseas the annual increments on diameter were considered as it’s the most frequent data available. The x, y coordinates in meters of each tree at Tetere were measured along two transects of 350m and two of 50m; then recalculated in a single gridline and plotted into Ilwis GIS, and converted to a raster format to carry out points interpolation. Statistical tests for data analysis were performed with JASP, SISA and vassarstats open software. One way ANOVA tests were performed to find significant differences in growth between species and among sites, with TUKEY HSD when K>2 and the analysis of variance yielded a significant F-ratio. Volume tabulations and regressions were performed in Excel.

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Figure 1 Location of study sites: Aruligo (A): 10ha (sample of 165 trees), Golf (B) (126 trees in total) and Tetere (C): 1.2ha (396 trees in total). Sources: The Australian National University, Canberra and Google Earth (2020).

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Figure 2. Total number of trees surveyed per specie per site.


3.1 Tetere site

This plantation is located on the northern plains of Guadalcanal within the boundaries of the current Correctional Camp of Guadalcanal at 9°25'18.5" S 160°10'25.9" E coordinates. The plantation was done with the participation of inmates, locals, students and foreign economic assistance.

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Figure 3. Map of trees location at Tetere site with a total area of 125x100m. Mahogany, teak, and acacia trees are depicted in black, red and green. Trees with bigger diameter appear within larger circles. The background map is a Thiessen polygons map which allocates space to the nearest point feature (tree stems), every location is nearer to this point than to all the others (Boots, 1999). Own illustration.

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Figure 3. Correlation curve between basal areas and their respective available space for tree growth with a CI of 95%, F-value 15.467, and p-value 0.0001. Trees with more available area for growth have also larger diameters at breast height.

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Figure 4a. Polygon areas are expressed in pixels of 0.1 x 0.1m., and 4b. Basal areas (BA) in m2 tree-1.

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Figure 5. Histograms for basal areas, commercial heights and volumes of mahogany, teak and acacia trees at Tetere plantation site.

The three species at Tetere site had a mean BA of 0.1m2, a mean volume of 0.3m3 per tree for the three species and commercial heights of 8m (mahogany), 5m (teak) and 6m (acacia). The histograms for mahogany show a more normal distribution than for the other two species due to their higher number in the plantation (almost half of the total of trees); however, the merchantable heights of acacia and teak trees are more uniform than those of mahogany.

Table 2. Trends between variables for the species planted at Tetere site.

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Table 2 shows that the percentages of the total variability in the data which is explained by the regression line between the basal areas and the commercial volumes are much higher than for the same between the basal areas and the commercial heights.

At Tetere the regressions between basal areas and heights were not as pronounced as in the case of basal areas with commercial volumes for the three species; with no significant differences (p<0.01) between the BA, commercial heights and volumes.

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Figure 6. Tukey HSD comparisons of mean volume (m3) per specie at Tetere site. Bars with different letters denote significant differences (p<0.001).

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Figure 7. Tukey HSD comparisons of mean annual increment of BA (m2 yr-1) at Tetere site. Bars with different letters denote significant differences (p<0.001).

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Figure 8. Tukey HSD comparisons of MAI of commercial height (m yr-1) at Tetere site. Bars with different letters denote significant differences (p<0.001).

3.2 Aruligo site

The plantation at Aruligo site located at 9.3118° S, 159.7808° E coordinates, was planned by the provincial government in order to support the relocation of displaced locals after a major landslides and floods in the island during July 1965, February 1967 and April 1977. Guadalcanal has few harbours and the only all-weather harbour is at Marau Sound (Webber, 2011). The main planted species were teak, eucalyptus and mahogany.

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Figure 9. Histograms for BA, commercial heights and volumes of teak, mahogany (center) and eucalyptus trees at Aruligo plantation site.

At Aruligo the BA-MAI of eucalyptus trees was nearly three times those of mahogany trees and twice as much as of teak trees. Mahogany trees didn’t perform well due to the low soil water retention capacity of the convex terrain. In nature mahogany trees are normally found along riverbanks (Orwa et al; 2009).

Table 3. Trends between variables for the species planted at Aruligo site.

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Table 3 shows that the percentages of the total variability in the data which is explained by the regression line between the basal areas and the commercial volumes are much higher than for the same between the basal areas and the commercial heights.

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Figure 10. Tukey HSD comparisons of MAI for total heights (m/year) per specie at Aruligo site. Bars with different letters denote significant differences (p<0.001).

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Figure 11. Tukey HSD comparisons of mean annual increment of basal area (m2 yr-1) per specie at Aruligo site. Bars with different letters denote significant differences (p<0.001).

3.3 Golf site

Honiara Golf Club located at 9°26′S 159°57′E coordinates, was built in 1958 to serve as the Henderson Airfield. A leaf hut used as the Immigration and Customs Services was re built as the Golf Club house and the green areas were expanded (Solomon Islands Historical Encyclopaedia, 2013).

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Figure 12. Histograms for BA, commercial heights and volumes for acacia, eucalyptus, mahogany and teak trees at Golf site.

At Golf site eight teak trees had similar mean BA than eucalyptus trees (32 trees in total) but lower mean total heights than them by 5m. Teak trees were planted in a single row at the border of the plantation providing them with more space for growth. The planted eucalyptus trees yielded in average twice as much timber volume per tree than the other three species.

Table 4. Trends between variables for the species planted at Golf site.

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Table 4 shows that the percentages of the total variability in the data which is explained by the regression line between the basal areas and the commercial volumes are much higher than for the same between the basal areas and the commercial heights.

The regression curve between basal areas and heights at Tetere site does not fit as well as in the case of BA with commercial volumes for the three species.

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Figure 13. Mean annual increment of total heights (m yr-1) per specie at Golf site.

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Figure 14. Mean annual increment of basal areas (m2 yr-1) per specie at Golf site.

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Figure 15. Overall mean annual increment of basal area (m2 yr-1) per specie at all sites.

Acacia reached the highest basal area MAI in all the sites with a standard deviation (0.041) almost twice as the mean basal area MAI for the other tree species in all the sites (0.0274).

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Figure 16. Overall MAI for commercial tree heights (m yr-1) per specie for the three all sites. At Aruligo total heights were recorded for mahogany, at Tetere the commercial heights were recorded for all the species (the lack of thinning made it difficult to detect the top end of the trees) and at Golf both heights were recorded because most of the trees were planted along two well-spaced rows providing a good visibility.

Eucalyptus yielded higher commercial volumes in the three sites with a standard deviation of 3.3196 followed by teak (2.0645), acacia (2.4425) and mahogany (2.684), this last with a poor performance at Aruligo site.

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Figure 17. Overall MAI for volume (m3 yr-1) per specie for all sites.

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Figure 18. Comparison of diameter increments (cm yr-1) of teak trees for all sites with overseas performance (White, 1991).

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Figure 19. Comparison of diameter increments (cm yr-1) of acacia trees for all sites with overseas performance. Data for Acacia mangium was sourced from NRC (1983) and Gunn and Midgley (1991).

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Figure 20. Comparison of diameter increments (cm yr-1) of mahogany trees for all sites with overseas performance. Data for mahogany was sourced from Snook (2000), Bird (1998), Grogan et al (2005), Lamb (1996) and Shono and Snook (2006).

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Figure 21. Comparison of diameter increments (cm yr-1) of eucalyptus trees for all sites with overseas performance. Data for the genre eucalyptus was sourced from Eldridge et al (1993), Ugalde (1980) and Sanchez (1994).

With the exception of acacia, the diameter increments for teak, mahogany and eucalyptus at the three sites were higher that the means overseas (figures 19-21). A continuation, a brief overall discussion per specie:

Acacia mangium

Its MAI basal area at Tetere (0.0066 m2 yr-1) was similar to the one of teak trees and higher than of mahogany trees (0.00585 m2 yr-1). Its MAI for commercial height is also similar to teak but lower than those of mahogany (figure 8). At Golf it was lower than of teak but higher than eucalyptus and mahogany (figure 14). It grows better in drier areas (Golf) where the MAI of their total heights were higher than of mahogany (figure 13). However its annual increment in diameter is almost half than in overseas (figure 19) probably due to that high yield varieties are planted overseas with assistance of maintenance works such as fertilization, pruning and thinning.

Eucalyptus deglupta

Its performance is exceptionally good even in land were other planted species “failed”. At Aruligo reached the largest dimensions in both basal area and heights, at Golf eucalyptus showed the largest heights but its MAI for basal areas (0.0144 m2 yr-1) was lower than those for acacia (0.0156 m2 yr-1) and teak (0.0194 m2 yr-1). The diameter average increments (4.867 cm yr-1) were almost double than those from overseas.

Swetenia macrophylla

Its volumetric increment performed best at Tetere compared to acacia and teak due to the good shape of its main stem; almost four times their growth at Golf. Results for mahogany at Aruligo were not optimum due to the drier soils in the hillsides; however it grows fast in lowlands with regular water retention or alongside drains as in Tetere. At Aruligo the saplings were planted few years ago. Its rate of diameter growth at the three sites is higher than in overseas (figure 20).

Tectona grandis

Its mean volume (0.415 m3) was lower than of acacia (0.423 m3) and of mahogany (0.483 m3) (figure 6) but its mean annual increment of basal area was similar to those of acacia and higher than those of mahogany (0.0059 m2 yr-1). Its MAI of commercial height (0.62 m yr-1) was similar to acacia (0.63 m yr-1) but lower than in mahogany (0.81 m yr-1), at Aruligo it was higher than of mahogany (figure 10). At Golf the same were higher than those from acacia and mahogany (figure 13) and its mean annual increment of basal areas (0.0194 m2 yr-1) higher than the other three species. The average diameter increment (2.4-2.75 cm yr-1) of teak trees for all sites is higher than the average of the same overseas (figure 18).


The tree dimensions and MAI values for the three species at Tetere site were similar. Larger basal areas were achieved by trees in the “borders” due to less competition for nutrients and water and higher insolation. Diameter mean annual increments were higher for teak, eucalyptus and mahogany than in overseas; acacia follows an alternative trend, although they reach comparatively big dimensions in short time, they are susceptible to termites and fungus attack. At this stage the results are promising, considering that there were no works of maintenance and fertilization in none of the sites with exception of Aruligo where seedlings were regularly watered on the first year.

It is recommended to set up trial plots of eucalyptus interplanted with mahogany and/or teak. Mahogany is self-pruning, as an under crop for teak trees may facilitate heavy thinning of the latter without exposing the soil to desiccation and/or erosion. Intercropping with native hardwoods such as flueggea sp. which can be harvested after few years, facilitates the thinning of the plantation and enable growers early returns. Otherwise, normal maintenance works such as pruning and thinning on especially teak plantations will increase the potential commercial value of the tree. Other options include: (1) the use of native rather than exotic species, (2) using mixed species plantations rather than monocultures, (3) using the plantation to facilitate natural understorey regeneration, and (4) incorporating more structural and compositional diversity in plantations for wildlife habitat (Keenan et al; 1999). A similar survey in other provinces together with soil and tree canopy assessments will strengthen the conclusions.


The indispensable fund provided by the Research Office at SINU is very appreciated, together with the participation in the field surveys of the following lecturers during the past four months at different times and locations: Mr. Ramon Polycarpio, Miss Inesha Mazini and Mr. Henry Kaomara; the students Dorothy Oshea, Osborn Rigeo, Elsie Meesa, Israel Liva, Hackman Mela, Lawrence Rodoi, Christina Kangitagi, Lynne Robo, Joseph Tavuata, Alice Samo and Sereima Paramate; and lastly our main driver Moses Davis.


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CHAPTER THREE. Megapodes, bats and the bush meat crises in the Solomon Islands


Megapodes, bats and flying foxes are traditional sources of protein in the South Pacific and key species for plant regeneration, pest control and soil nutrient cycling. Their populations are declining due to overexploitation and in risk of depletion in an unrecorded number of sites across the large number of islands and atolls of Oceania. Dispersed field data across the South Pacific islands is discussed. Harvests and reproductive characteristics of both groups are described and contrasted alongside options for their conservation and regulated management. It is hypothesized that a bushmeat crisis is ongoing in the islands due to the scarcity of alternative low cost sources of protein, land encroachment, human demographic increase, unemployment and weak forest governance. The chapter aims to contribute to the identification of over sighted spots in a critical state and to the establishment of simple management plans for local communities to regulate their harvests.

Keywords: Bats, megapodes, hunting, South Pacific, Melanesia, bushmeat crisis.

3.1 Introduction

The hunting of wildlife is considered the single most geographically widespread form of resource extraction in the tropics 1; other major threats include logging, commercial fishing, oil palm production and mining 2. It is named bushmeat (or wild meat) hunting when the purpose is to obtain protein or medicines 3. Its sustainability, whenever the extraction rates are controlled 4, is rarely attainable in large parts of Africa, Asia and South America 5 6 due to land fragmentation and encroachment, unemployment and weak governance, all of which lead to persistent hunting in cycles (figure1). Sustainable harvesting is more likely to succeed in habitats with relatively low species diversity and a high density of commercial species 7. The number that can be harvested without reducing the population size since is theoretically a “surplus” yield below the carrying capacity.

Wildlife farming is an attractive alternative to bushmeat hunting, provided it addresses risks arising from breeding in captivity, high mortality of the young, lack of training, high production costs and poaching 8; and requirements like good water supply, habitats variation and has to be compatible with neighbouring land uses 9. Megapodes are of high fecundity and longevity, and rearing their chicks is simple 10, which indicates its good potential for farming. This article focuses on two groups of species common in the South Pacific: bats and megapodes. They are small-sized animals with high rates of endemism, many of their species are threatened by human activities and they are of critical value for ecosystems stability. They can be found in the same areas but at different times (fruit bats at dusk and megapodes at dawn; 11. We hypothesize that an ongoing bushmeat crisis can be averted by implementing practices based on scientific theory and traditional knowledge and periodic monitoring of their populations, and by directly involving local leaders, schools and church organizations in conservation efforts.

3.1.1 The bushmeat crisis

In some regions bushmeat represents up to 90% of the protein consumed 12. When traded they become an important source of livelihood for both rural and urban communities, however the distinction between subsistence and commercial use is often blurred, with bushmeat supplementing both diets and incomes 6. In Amazonia around 150,000 kg of bushmeat feed more than 8150,000 people annually 1 worth USD 175 million per year 13. In West and Central Africa the value ranges between USD42 and 205 million 14. Bushmeat constitutes 67% of the meals in Sarawak (Malaysia) 15, rising to 75% in Liberia 16. However due to a bush meat crisis only three countries in central Africa will be able to maintain a protein supply above the recommended minimum of 52g/person/day within 50 years 17.

Hunters exploit resources in the most ‘efficient’ possible way without ensuring sustainable harvests of a prey 12; a problem that is compounded by the attitude if I don’t take it now, the next hunter will 18. Large game species disappear first, leaving behind resilient, small or unhunted species 14. Therefore studies should consider the average body weights for all the hunted species that can be affected in different degrees 19. Figure 1 shows how hunters are pressed by their need of protein and income to hunt the largest possible preys, decreasing their composition and abundance. Those persistent hunting cycles may extinguish the prey specie(s) in the area.

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Figure 1 . Causes and effects of hunting 20.

Traditionally several communities in the South Pacific enforce regulations aimed at protecting wild resources from extinction; for example, coastal communities in Isabel province (Solomon Islands) adopted conservation programs that recognize sacred sites and oral traditions which are used to convey land use rights for descent groups, and revenue from international fisheries and logging ventures. They also help to determine how power is distributed within the communities and passed among generations 21. Often villagers are unaware of the real condition of wild populations or enforce traditional regulations that are no longer effective, losing continuous food sources and income, which could contribute considerably to poverty alleviation and environmental health 22. Therefore, national and international conservation programs will benefit from an understanding of the cultural view of bushmeat (figure 2) by integrating the real needs of the people, their historical understanding of their resources, and their perception of the value of particular local species.

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Figure 2. Cultures generate explanatory concepts of the natural word and of its relationships with humans 23.

3.1.2 The case of bats and flying foxes

Over 20% of all mammal species are bats 24. Their hunting is widespread and affects at least 167 species in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and to a lesser extent in Central and South America 25. In several Pacific Islands they are often the only native mammals; 40 species (23% of the total) have been hunted since prehistoric times, the highest rate of hunted bat species on the planet, many of them are endangered (figure 3).

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Figure 3. Number of microchiropteran bat species in each IUCN category of threat. Adapted from 26.

Bats are keystone species in the ecosystem 27 for pollination, seeds dispersal and pest control 28. A colony of one million Brazilian free-tailed bats consumes over eight tons of insects per night 29; Teropus brasiliensis fly up to 900 meters before dispersing to forage important pests such as cotton bollworm moth (Helicoverpa zea) as evidenced in their faeces 30. Chaerephon plicatus consumes large amounts of plant hoppers (Sogatella furcifera), a major pest on rice fields 31 32. Eonycteris spelaea which forms colonies of up to 20,000 individuals in South East Asian caves 33 is the primary pollinator of durian (Durio zibethinus), a high value fruit and of Parkia speciosa, an edible tree bean 34 among others 35. Bat guano is also a valued fertilizer, around 100,000 tons were harvested from Carlsbad Cavern in 1923 26 (Hutson et al. 2001). In Madagascar it is exploited since 2015 by a private company that monitors the environmental impacts 36. However bats are also associated with costs when frugivorous bats raid crops and vampire bats livestock 37. The transfer of pathogens transfer from bats to people is another growing concern as more bat species are vectors of emergent viral diseases 38.

Table 1. Summary of bat species and hunting methods by country in Melanesia. Adapted from 39.

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Intense hunting and low reproductive rates of bats (a single offspring/year) make them prone to population decline. They are hunted by different methods according to the region (table1). Pteropus faunulus is hunted for their perceived medicinal properties 40, for their fat in Pakistan 41, for their teeth (Pteropus cognatus) on necklace making in the Solomon Islands 42, and as a sport at resorts in Vanuatu 43. But the main purpose is as food source. Bat meat value ranges from a highly sought-after delicacy served at traditional celebrations (Pteropus mariannus in the Mariana Islands) to finger food consumed in social drinking settings 44; and as starvation food 45. Elsewhere is an alternative source of protein for rural people 46. Consumption of Pteropus vetulus is popular among natives and Chinese immigrants in Fiji 47, in Vanuatu 85% of villagers frequently eat twelve bat species, only one group being excepted due to ancestral beliefs 48. In Solomon Islands around 1,000 bats are taken monthly from limestone caves as an alternative protein to fish 49. In the south of New Caledonia bat hunting occurs as an occasional delicacy and on the weekends of April, with a maximum catch of five per hunter per day 50. There are also found excessive hunting rates in Niue where many believe that there is an infinite number of flying foxes in two small taboo or forbidden areas 51. An extinction of flying foxes was predicted in the Cook Islands within three years, assuming that half of the individuals are females with one offspring per year, and considering a hunting rate of one animal/per man/week 52.

The recovery of the Mariana fruit bat or fanihi (Pteropus mariannus mariannus) was achieved at a cost of over USD12 million. The project aimed to stabilize the existing populations, control illegal hunting and the brown tree snake, conserve suitable habitats, study its population ecology to improve models, and to assess its sensitivity to threats and predict its persistence 53. Bat population densities were five to ten times larger when roost sites were protected in the Philippines 44 and 100 times larger when their entire habitat was protected in the Marianas 54.

These fruit bats are particularly vulnerable because they are long-lived (up to 30 years) for their body size 55 with low reproduction rates (around one per year), slow rates of fetal growth and long gestation periods 56. Females and young bats are thus sensitive to hunting disturbance during a large part of the year. Sustainable harvests are possible in abundant species 15. The main target species are fruit bats of the genus pteropus because they are the largest and roost in trees with predictable locations. They move from roosting area during the day to feeding areas at night covering a distance that can be over 40 km apart 55. People usually hunt them at both sites using slingshots 57 and sticks at the entrance of caves (table 1).

3.1.3 The case of megapodes

Bird extinction in the Pacific islands since prehistoric times exceed 2000 species, which represents 20 percent of their worldwide reduction 58. Before the arrival of humans the megapodes thrived in Melanesia, Western Polynesia and much of Micronesia (figure 4). Today they are extinct in New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Niue and Pohnpei 58 although the micronesian megapode is capable of moving between islands 53. They inhabit broadleaved forests ranging from secondary forests, coconut forests and undisturbed forest habitats 59 60. They are most diverse in the Australo-Papua region where they also compete with pheasants and are predated by mammals. 61 It is predicted that the combined effect of feral cats and dogs with the over-exploitation of eggs can extinguish entire populations or even species.

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Figure 4. The current distribution of the family Megapodiidae outlined in black. Adapted from 62.

Globally the group is highly threatened by hunting and eggs collection; the number of extinct species (22) almost equals the number that survives 63. The eggs of most species are regularly harvested for profit and sustenance 64. Egg harvesting may be sustainable in the long term if carried out within biologically sensible limits.

The incubation strategies of these birds, together with the absence of parental care and the hatching of fully developed birds 65 make them vulnerable 66. They forage by scratching and raking among the debris on the ground, opportunistically taking food items wherever they are exposed 62, specially leaf-litter invertebrates and seeds, though the Australian Brush-turkeys Alectura lathami feed on fruit in the tree canopy as well 63. The breeding biology of megapodes differs greatly from other galliformes. Some species build large mounds of vegetation in which eggs are incubated by heat from fungal decay of the material, others bury their eggs in burrows where incubation temperatures are produced by heat from volcanic activity or from the sun. After a long incubation, the chicks hatch rapidly, dig their way to the surface, and develop without parental care. After egg laying they do not take care of the nest site to regulate the incubation temperature, returning only to lay another egg 67 68. Therefore, the chance of predation on the burrow-nesters is lower than on mound-builder species. The eggs have adaptations that facilitate gas exchange, including thin eggshells and egg pores that broaden throughout the course of development. The eggs are unusually large with high yolk content. Because suitable nesting sites tend to be few and far between, many burrow-nesting megapode species breed communally. Around 15-20 eggs are normally laid per nest with a hatching success as high as 80% 69. The processes of burrowing, egg laying and burrow filling last from 2 to 3.5 hours 67.

The birds spend longer time at the nesting ground around full moon, digging deeper burrows than at new moon time. Their conspicuous behaviour and their presence at the mound for several months make them susceptible to predation during the breeding season 61. Figure 5 shows that villagers collect eggs with a frequency and intensity that follows the bird nesting habits; an effective regulation is the partial or complete ban on the collection of eggs during the full moon.

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Figure 5. Daily egg harvest of Moluccan megapode Eulipoa wallacei eggs at Halmahera; and daily egg production of maleo Macrocephalon maleo eggs at Tambun, Sulawesi. The Moluccan megapode exhibits lunar periodicity in egg laying. Adapted from 70.

The megapode action plan was the first avian action plan published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 71. The best performing country in the region is Australia where the government set up a large scale monitoring program to increase the number of malleefowls from 1000 to 2000 pairs in the next 20 years 10. It is based on a grid system for laying out transects in the field where the number of birds is sampled with the program Distance that measures the perpendicular distance of the bird (or clusters of birds) from the transect and calculates a detection probability function 72.

3.1.4 Sustainable harvests

The concept of maximum sustainable yield (MSY) is based on a model of biological growth, which assumes that at any given population below a certain level of carrying capacity (K), a surplus production exists that can be harvested in perpetuity without altering the stock level. For most populations to which this model applies, the MSY level lies between 40-60% of the carrying capacity 73 74. MSY levels for bobwhite quail, gray partridges, mallards and pheasants are at 55%, 37%, 29% and 20% respectively 75. For other species the numbers fluctuate greatly and the optimal solution may depend on whether the population is increasing or decreasing, if decreasing dispersal has a key role in rebuilding the population 76. Although not clear in megapodes, some galliformes reduce their natural mortality rates when they are being regularly hunted 77. Egg collection is relatively easy since the nests are recognizable and their depth almost constant. In a survey at Tetere on the north coast of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands (Lat 9° 27' 19S Long 160° 12' 24E) we found that villagers do not regard themselves as a problem for the stability of megapode populations. During breeding seasons male youngsters collect eggs almost on a daily basis with the sole restriction that each village has a defined area from which they may collect eggs (figure 6).

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Figure 6. Number of respondents to a preliminary survey on the egg collection practices, factors and perceptions at a nesting site next to GGPOL log pond, Honiara, Solomon Islands carried out by the author on 23 February 2019.

Regarding bats, guidelines were written to regulate the harvest of bats guano from caves during seasons of low bats numbers 78 avoiding extreme modifications to the habitat surrounding the cave 79. There are as yet no regulations in place to control the hunting of bats in most villages in the South Pacific.

3.1.5 Conclusion

Megapode eggs, bats and flying foxes are important traditional protein resources in South Pacific villages, particularly when these are far from the coast. There is ample evidence of population decline and extinctions in the islands. Local communities may not see bush meat conservation initiatives either as a moral duty or as imperative for long-term survival. It is therefore important to link strategies to the economic and cultural needs, values and priorities of communities. Taboos and ancestral beliefs in small villages frequently regulated the access to wildlife resources but the impact of the western economy and concomitant land use conversions altered local cultures, traditions and ways of life. The full implications of unregulated traditional hunting in South Pacific communities, other than the extinction of the species concerned are not yet fully known. In general, the forest complexity will decrease, important agents for plants dispersal will be lost and the availability of alternative protein sources will be lost.

Achieving sustainability requires cooperation between local communities, government and scientists; difficulties arise when the additional transaction costs of managing wildlife cannot be offset against new benefits from sport hunting and tourism. Transaction costs in Melanesian countries can be very high, with high costs of living and comparatively low average incomes; which confirms a conclusion of 80 that models linking community participation, land tenure reform and traditional control systems with poverty alleviation and resource conservation are unlikely to suffice in an increasingly complex world. Even if such mechanisms are politically feasible, the transaction costs may outweigh the expected benefits 81. An additional factor is that local communities tend to bear the costs of conservation without receiving the benefits. Therefore solutions should be simple, of low cost, locally implemented and socially acceptable. Management priorities should focus on community engagement and education, as well as improved cave and forest management and protection. Hunting bats at their feeding sites may not be a threat if roost sites are protected. A participatory quota setting and the establishment of closed seasons provide a platform for a continuous engagement, negotiation and consensus building in the communities. Regular assessments will monitor the population size, the turnover and record harvests under prescribed community rules. Education and awareness campaigns within local communities should emphasize the vulnerability of bats and megapodes to hunting pressure. More research is needed on the ecology and breeding characteristics for both groups of species, on human-wildlife conflicts (effects of logging, gardening and hunting), on traditional values and on the potential of tourism. The role of governments and community leaders are vital to lead the status of ‘free access areas’ into managed or protected areas. National inventories of roost sites, nesting sites and taboo sites are also needed. Further, it is important to have periodic recordings of the number of animals versus off-take, as well as to identify weak policies on conservation, to review and contextualize school curricula and to record local lore and cultural perception of the species nationwide.

3.1.6 Acknowledgements

The author sincerely appreciates the assistance given by the following SNRAS staff: Dr. John Fasi, Claire Oiree and Henry Kaomara, during the trips to GGPOL log pond at Guadalcanal Island carried out on December 2018 and February 2019.


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62 Jones D, Dekker R, and Roselaar C, The megapodes. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

63 Gill H. 1970. Birds of Innisfail and hinterland. Emu, 70,105-116Göth A. and Vogel U. Status of the Polynesian Megapode, Megapodius pritchardii, on Niuafo´ou. Bird Conservation International, 5 (1995) 117-128.

63 Keane A, Brooke M, and McGowan P, 2005. Correlates of extinction risk and hunting pressure in gamebirds (Galliformes). Biological Conservation 126 (2005) 216–33.

64 Argeloo M, and Dekker R, Exploitation of megapodes eggs in Indonesia: the role of tradi-tional methods in the conservation of megapodes.— Oryx 30 (1996) 59-64.

65 Boles W, Systematics of the fossil Australian giant Megapodes progura (Aves: Megapodiidae). Oryctos 7 (2008) 195–295.

66 Bennett P, and Owens I, Variation in extinction risk among birds: chance or evolutionary predisposition? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 264 (1997) 401–408.

67 Todd D, Pritchard’s Megapode on Niuafo’ou Island, Kingdom of Tonga.— J. World Pheasant Assoc. 8 (1993) 69-88.

68 Dekker R, Fuller R, Baker G, (eds.) Megapodes. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan 2000–2004. WPA/BirdLife/SSC Megapode Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK, and the World Pheasant Association, Reading, UK. vii (2000) 39 pp.

69 Benshemesh J, The conservation ecology of Malleefowl, with particular regard to fire (1992). PhD thesis, Monash University, Clayton.

70 Baker G, Crudgington H, Hujaima C, Halim M, Ecology and conservation of the Moluccan megapode in Halmahera, J. World Pheasant Assoc., Ann. Rev. 1997/98: 35-42.

71 Dekker R, Proceedings Third International Megapode Symposium. Zool. Verh. Leiden 327 (1999).

72 Buckland S, Anderson D, Bumham K, Laake J, Borchers D, and Thomas L, Introduction to distance sampling Oxford University Press, Oxford (2001).

73 Getz W, Haight R, Population Harvesting (Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1989).

74 Clark K, Roosting ecology of the eastern big-eared bat (Plecotus rafinesquii), in North Carolina. Thesis, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, USA, (1990), 111p.

75 Hudson P, and Rands M. (eds.). Ecology and management of gamebirds. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1988).

76 Novaro A, Redford K, Bodmer R, Effect of hunting in source-sink systems in the neotropics. Conservation Biology 14 (2000) 713-721. http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1739.2000.98452.x

77 Aebischer N, Impact of hunting on the population dynamics of wild birds. Gibier Faune Sauvage 14 (1997) 183– 200.

78 Cryan P, and Diehl R, Analysing bat migration. In: Kunz T.H., and Parsons, S. (eds.) Ecological and behavioural methods for the study of bats, 2nd edn. (2009) 476–478. Baltimore, USA: Johns Hopkins University Press.

79 Glover A, and Altringham J, 2008. Cave selection and use by swarming bat species. Biological Conservation 141/6 (2008) 1493-1504.

80 Inamdar A, Brown D, and Cobb S, What’s special about wildlife management in forests? Concepts and models of right-based management with recent evidence from Central Africa, Number 44, June 1999.

81 Milner-Gulland E, and Mace R, Conservation of biological resources. Blackwell Science Ltd: Oxford (1998) ISBN 0865427380, 405p.

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Megapodius eremite (Melanesian megapode). Source: Joseph Smit - Report on the scientific results of the voyage of H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873-76.

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Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/Awwducational, 01/02/10.

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Source: D. Cowell – Flickr, 05/12/07.

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Source: How to "Motu", Project Mast, http://tdriscollsi.blogspot.com/31/07/10.

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Source: Tyrone Lavery, 15/08/08.

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Source: Alchetron, Free Social Encyclopedia for the World, https://alchetron.com.

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Source: Nigel Voaden, 15/04/09.

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Source: Eric Carrasco, rainforesttrust.org.

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CHAPTER 4. Ancestral cultivated trees of the Solomon Islands

A continuation is a list of twenty native trees that were cultivated and/or transported from island to island by canoes long ago. They were selected considering their prevalence on archaeological studies in the South Pacific, their documented usefulness and the availability of basic information regarding them. Most of them were utilized in multiple ways; few of them (like coconut palm and noni trees) are planted for commercial purposes today. First a general description of the tree taxonomy, habitat and uses is given; then a morphological description of the specie, especially of the flower, fruits and leaves for their precise identification.

1) Artocarpus altilis

Artocarpus altilis (Breadfruit) is a tree in the mulberry and jackfruit family (Moraceae) believed to be a domesticated descendant of Artocarpus camansi originating in New Guinea, the Maluku Islands, and the Philippines. It spread to Oceania via the Austronesian expansion. It was further spread to other tropical regions of the world during the Colonial Era.(50) Breadfruit has some tolerance to salinity and can grow on coralline soils and atolls .(53) In addition to the fruit serving as a staple food in many cultures, the light, sturdy timber of breadfruit has been used for outriggers, ships, and houses in the tropics. Breadfruit is one of the highest-yielding food plants, with a single tree producing up to 200 or more grapefruit-sized fruits per season, requiring limited care. In the South Pacific, the trees yield 50 to 150 fruits per year, usually round, oval or oblong weighing 0.25–6 kg.(51) A. altilis is a fast-growing evergreen tree frequently cultivated and naturalized through the tropics.(53) This species is one of the most common trees planted in agroforestry systems in the Pacific islands, but it is also an important starchy staple crop in Oceania, India, Africa, and the West Indies.(52)

Artocarpus altilis has spreading surface roots that stabilize the soil on the steep hillsides in Micronesia. Its dense canopy provides shade and reduces temperature. The trunks can be used as trellises for vines and the regular shedding of its leaves provides mulch to the soil, thus improving growing conditions of intercropped species. Breadfruit trees host and feed many birds and bats. The pollen and the latex are collected by honeybees.(53) Breadfruit contains phytochemicals having potential as an insect repellent.(54, 55) The parts of the fruits that are discarded can be used to feed livestock. The leaves of breadfruit trees can also be browsed by cattle.(56)

2) Barringtonia edulis

Barringtonia belongs to the family Lecythidaceae, a large, mainly nut-bearing, family of trees which includes the Brazil nut (Bertholettia excelsa) and the so-called monkey pot trees (Lecythis spp.) Seven species of Barringtonia have been reported in the Solomon Islands. (70) Barringtonia edulis is indigenous to Melanesia – Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and also occurring in Africa, southern Asia and Australia. (66) It is cultivated in villages and home-gardens in its native areas and in Fiji. It is an evergreen tree that belongs to the family lecythidaceae, it can grow up to 15m tall with a diameter at breast eight (dbh) of up to 30-40cm. (1) Found at dense and open forests, woodland and grassland of Fiji and Vanuatu, at elevations of up to 400m. (1) It is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 15m tall with a dbh of 30-40cm.(1) Occurs on dense and open forests, on humid sites of woodlands and grasslands, at elevations up to 400masl (1, 41) It thrives on sandy, loamy and clay soils with acid, neutral or basic pH; it can tolerate maritime exposure. The flowers are pollinated by moths and bats.

The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and timber. The edible seeds are sold in local markets. The tree is sometimes cultivated in home gardens and around villages, and is generally allowed to remain in the forest when it is cleared. (2, 9) The wood is light in weight. It is used for canoe paddles, casing, light construction and as a quick-burning firewood. The bark is used in the treatment of stomach ailments and gonorrhea. (9) A strong tea made from the bark is claimed to induce abortion and definitive sterility. (58)

3) Burckella sorei

Burckella is a genus of 26 plant species in the family Sapotaceae (59, 61) which includes about 65 genera and 800 species of evergreen trees and shrubs. Burckella sorei is native to New Guinea, the Indonesian Province of Maluku, and the islands of Papuasia east of New Guine a (60) primary in lowland rainforests. (12, 3) Burckella sorei is an evergreen tree with a dense crown; it can grow up to 33m tall and a broad buttresses up to 2.4 meters tall (3). It is threatened by habitat loss. (34) The tree is a source of timber, (12) edible fruits and latex. It is threatened by logging activities being classified as 'Near Threatened' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (12)

4) Burckella obovata

It belongs to the family Sapotaceae. A tree of around 60 feet height; yields a globular one-seeded fruit of around 7cm width. Burckella is native to New Guinea, the Indonesian Province of Maluku, and the islands of Papuasia east of New Guinea. (59) The tree is valued for its edible fruit, which is gathered from the wild and sometimes also either cultivated in home gardens or encouraged to grow in more wild conditions near the village. The fruit is occasionally sold in local markets. The tree is also a source of wood and of latex. (35)

5) Canarium salomonense

The genus Canarium consists of about 80 species and is distributed from tropical Africa to tropical Asia, northern Australia and the Pacific . Canarium salomonense grows up to 30 meters tall with 30-50cm dbh, it has a buttress and sometimes stilt roots. (4, 1) It is native to the Solomon Islands in rainforests up to 500 masl. (40) C. Indicum rarely accounts for more than 5% of total crop volume in Solomon Islands forest (maximum of 24% in Heho, Malaita). In some areas (N. Malaita, Rendova and Marovo, in particular), plantings of over 2 ha (at about 50-80 trees/ha) of mixed C. Indicum and C. Salomonense (plus other species) were observed: often at the site of old inland villages. (70)

The tree is mainly harvested from the wild for its edible seed, which is eaten locally. It is also sometimes cultivated near villages. (5, 4, 1) The timber is used for house building, light or temporary constructions, doors, window frames, flooring, boxes, crates, furniture, joinery, canoes, veneer and plywood. It is locally preferred for tool handles and also used as firewood. The wood cannot be used for outdoor construction because it is non-durable and difficult to treat with preservatives. Paddles have been manufactured from the buttresses.

The mesocarp of C. vitiense from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga has been reported to be edible but not in the Solomon Islands. (70) The fruit pulp also contains oil, which is occasionally used for cooking and lighting. Several species have edible seeds. Occasionally the oil substitutes coconut oil. In the Solomon Islands, the oil is used in skin and hair care products. The average oil content of Canarium kernels was 74%, of which 48% is saturated fat. (70) The kernel, known as ngali in Melanesia, is used commercially for bakery products and as an ice-cream flavouring. It can also be eaten roasted or boiled and forms an important element of rural cooking in Melanesia. The hard and thick shell enclosing the seeds makes an excellent fuel for cooking. When polished and varnished, the stone is an attractive ornament. The bark of a few species is known to yield tannin. A decoction of the roots is also used for medicinal purposes. Canarium trees are also planted as wind-breaks and their symmetrical branching makes them attractive avenue and shade trees. (62) There are proposals to establish ngali nuts as a smallholder-based cash crop; specially of C. indicum because of its greater yield, genetic diversity and distribution. (70)

6) Cocos nucifera

Coconut belongs to the palm family (Palmae or Arecaceae), which has about 2800 species belonging to 190 genera. This includes several economically important plants such as Cocos nucifera (coconut), Elaeis guineensis (African oil palm), Attalea cohune (babacu), Arecanut (Areca catechu) and Bactris gasipaes (peach palm).(79) Cocos nucifera is a pantropical plant with uncertain center of origin. The plantations are usually located in the lowlands just above beach level. The trees are tall, reaching up to 30m in height, with a slender, often curved trunk. It has a great capacity for natural dispersal. The nuts have the capability to survive up to 120 days floating in the sea water and germinate when they make landfall. This dispersal trait facilitates the spreading of this species far from its origin without human assistance. Coconuts are known for their versatility of uses, ranging from food to cosmetics.(37) The inner flesh of the mature seed, as well as well as the coconut milk extracted from it, forms a regular part of the diets of many people in the tropics and subtropics. Coconuts are distinct from other fruits because their endosperm contains a large quantity of coconut water or coconut juice.(38) Their cultivation and spread was closely tied to the early migrations of the Austronesian peoples who carried coconuts as canoe plants to islands they settled.(39, 40, 41, 42) On fertile soil, a tall coconut palm tree can yield up to 75 fruits per year, but more often yields less than 30.(43, 44, 45) The coconut palm thrives on sandy soils and is highly tolerant of salinity. It prefers areas with abundant sunlight and regular rainfall (1,500–2,500mm annually), which makes colonizing shorelines of the tropics relatively straightforward.(45) The processing of copra, the dried meat of the seed, produces coconut oil and meal. Edible coconut oil is also used in soaps, cosmetics and hair oil. The constituents of C. nucifera have some biological effects, such as antihelminthic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antitumor activities.(80) In Vanuatu, coconut trees are planted 9m apart, allowing a density of 100-160 trees per hectare. The husk and shells can be used for fuel and are a source of charcoal. The leaves also provide material for baskets that can draw well water and for roofing thatch; they can be woven into mats and cooking skewers.

7) Dracontomelon vitiense

Dracontomelon vitiense is a tree that can grow 8-20 meters tall, with a diameter at breast height of up to 90cm in diameter and buttresses. (9) Belongs to the family Anacardiaceae, growing mostly in SE Asia and the Pacific islands. The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of wood. The fruit can be an important seasonal food in some areas of its natural range, where it is commonly sold in local markets. The wood is used in light construction, (9) however is not resistant to termite attack. The wood is easy to work; it is used for furniture and cabinetwork, paneling, decorative veneers, flooring and joinery. (63)

8) Ficus microcarpa

Chinese banyan is an evergreen, small or medium-sized banyan tree with a dense, spreading crown; it can grow up to 25m tall and developed numerous slender aerial roots from the branches. (2) The bole has large buttresses. (6) A tropical and subtropical species, the tree requires a warm climate and a humid atmosphere. It can nevertheless withstand temperatures close to 0°C. The species occurs mainly at low elevations, and its natural habitats include tropical rainforests, river edges, coasts, swamps and mangroves. It can start life as an epiphyte in the branch of a tree and can eventually send down aerial roots that, once they reach the ground, provide extra nutrients that help the plant grow more vigorously. These aerial roots can encircle the trunk of the host tree, constricting its growth - this, coupled with the more vigorous top growth, can lead to the fig outcompeting and killing the tree in which it is growing. (7) The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of fiber, latex and wood. It is cultivated, especially in southern India, as a shade tree in coffee plantations and is widely planted in SE Asia and other tropical regions as an ornamental shade tree. (5) It is planted as a pioneer species in northern Thailand in reforestation projects to restore native woodland - it is planted in degraded woodland and open areas in a mix with other species; it has the ability to grow fast; produce dense, weed-suppressing crowns, and attracts seed-dispersing birds and bats. (7, 33) It can be propagated easily by cuttings, either in water or directly in a substrate of sand or potting soil. The root, bark and leaf latex are used medicinally to treat wounds, headache and toothache. (2) The bark and leaf latex is taken internally to treat colic and liver trouble. (2) Patients with fever or headache perspire in the steam of boiling young leaves. (2) Grown as a shade tree for coffee plantations. (5) A fiber from the bark is made into cloth. (8) The latex is used for caulking boats and waterproofing. (9) The wood, including the aerial roots, is used locally in light construction, tool making; the wood is also used for fuel. (9)

9) Gnetum gnemon

Gnetum constitutes the sole genus in the family Gnetaceae with 35 species. It was sometimes placed close to the angiosperms, but has recently been associated with the conifers. Gnetales share some characteristics with angiosperms, such as opposite leaves, vessels, a short life cycle and insect pollination. (78) G . gnemon L. is a relatively small, common, lowland forest, mainly dioecious tree found in Solomon Islands as well as most of the southwest Pacific and southeast Asia. In Temotu province, there are a number of cultivars. (70) Melinjo is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 18 meters tall. It belongs to a genus that is a supposed link between conifers and angiosperms. (10) A multipurpose tree, widely used by the local population for food, medicine and fiber and various other commodities. The plant is collected from the wild and also commonly planted in or near gardens. (10, 11) The seeds are commonly sold in local markets.

The young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. (10, 11); the nutritious seeds are boiled and eaten as a snack like peanuts. (11, 14) It is eaten as a dessert nut. In Solomon Islands (especially in Temotu), the cooked leaves, mesocarp and seed from mostly cultivated trees are eaten. (70) The seeds have a slight bitterness. (22) G. latifolium; a common thick woody forest climber which is frequently used as a climbing vine in Solomon Islands, also has seeds which are edible after roasting. (70) A fine flour can be obtained from the ground up seed - it is used for making thin crackers, known as 'emping', which are fried in coconut oil and eaten with rice etc. (10, 14) The seed is 2-4cm long, turning scarlet to red-tinged orange when ripe. (10) The fruits and inflorescences are added to soups and the sap from the stem is drinkable. (13) The leaf sap is used medicinally to cure an eye complication. (11)

Since it can survive annual rainfall of 750-1,000mm it is useful for dry lands rehabilitation and reforestation. (11) In Papua New Guinea grows alongside Artocarpus sp. (breadfruit), Pandanus conoideus and other food and fiber species. It is intercropped with several species like Arctocarpus camansi, Pandanus sp., Durio sp., Nephelium lappaceum (rambutan) and Parkia sp. (12) The woody fibres provide durable cordage for fishing nets, lines, string bags and other durable tools. (10, 11) A potential economic use of this plant is the utilization of its bark in rope making. (11) Wood smoke and topical applications reduced anopheles mosquitoes biting by 79% and 51%, respectively. (11) The wood is used for pulp, house construction, paper and boxes (11). The primary threat to this species is habitat loss through conversion of forests into crop plantations, commercial logging, expansion of urban areas and shifting agriculture at hillside locations. It is cultivated, but also wild specimens are harvested for fruits, leaves, and bark. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (12)

10) Hibiscus tiliaceus

Hibiscus is a large pantropical genus in the Malvaceae family, and includes some 200 species mainly in tropical and subtropical regions. It is a highly variable genus with relatively few common characteristics. (21) and is widely cultivated for its beautiful flowers, commonly used in landscaping. (48) It is a tropical species of coastal regions. Consequently it tolerates sea spray very well and is often found growing adjacent to the seashore, on or behind beaches as well as around river estuaries. It is adapted to a wide range of soils, from acid to alkaline, from well-drained to poorly drained, and will grow well on coral or quartz sands, marls or limestone-based soils, but also on heavier soils. H. tiliaceus is a tree often associated with mangrove vegetation, native to coastal areas from East Africa to the central Pacific. Hibiscus tiliaceus is a common coastal plant in Eastern and Northern Australia Oceania, Maldives, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. (21) It has become naturalized in parts of the New World, such as Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. It is uncertain if the species is native to Hawaii, as it may have been introduced by the Polynesians. (21) It can be found at elevations from sea level to 800 m) in areas that receive 900–2,500 mm of annual rainfall. It is commonly found growing on beaches, by rivers and in mangrove swamps; it tolerates salt and waterlogging and can grow in quartz sand, coral sand, marl, limestone,(21) and crushed basalt.(21) It grows best in slightly acidic to alkaline soils (pH of 5–8.5); (21) so it is windbreak, screen or hedge. It’s a soil stabilizer on slopes, swamps, river margins, coastal areas and dunes.

Its wood has a specific gravity of 0.6. It is useful on sea craft making, firewood and wood carvings. The light timber is attractively patterned and easily worked; it is easy to plane and turns well, so it is regarded by many as a high quality furniture wood. Plant fibers taken from the stems have traditionally been used in rope making, while its bark has been used like cork, in sealing cracks in boats. The bark and roots tea cool fevers, and its young leafy shoots may be eaten as vegetables. Native Hawaiians used the wood to make spars for outrigger canoes, fishing net floats, and adze handles. The fiber from the bark makes excellent string and rope and is used as such in hut building. The leaves are fed to cattle in Southeast Asia. The roots and young shoots are reported to have been eaten by aborigines in Queensland. The Polynesians ate the young leaves, used the fibers to make ropes, and the adult bark to make "tapa", a traditional clothing used in pre-European Polynesia.

11) Inocarpus fagifer

Inocarpus fagifer is an evergreen tree that belongs to the fabaceae family with a dense canopy, growing up to 20-30 meters tall and a dbh of about 30cm. (13, 14) It is common in the Pacific and southeast Asia. The tree has a shallow taproot and lateral roots. At the base of the trunk are 3-4 thin buttresses that extend up to about 1m height. Sometimes lateral roots extending from the buttresses are exposed on the soil surface (not buried in the soil) probably due to soil erosion. (13) The specie is more or less a staple food for the inhabitants of some South Sea Islands, where it is common. (8) It is cultivated in some areas and sold (often as a cooked product) in local markets. (13) An attractive evergreen tree, it has potential for use in urban centers for beautification while also providing shade and shelter. (13)

The fruit is a large, green indehiscent pod with a single seed which is usually roasted in Solomon Islands in or out of the pod before eating. (70) The seed can also be eaten raw or boiled. Boiled before they are quite ripe, they resemble chestnuts in flavor, they are nutritious. (14) The grated seeds are used for making flat cakes, breads and puddings. (14) The seeds are sometimes partially fermented in underground pits and can then be preserved as a reserve food supply, the seeds are large, of 5-50g, 20-70mm by 16-40mm size. (13) The bark is used to treat sickness relapses. (13)An infusion of the bark is used to treat burns; diarrhea and teething problems in infants, scabies and pneumonia. (13) The dried inner bark mixed with coconut oil is applied to bone fractures, the root is used to treat stomach-ache, the sap is used to treat pain in the bones, weakness after childbirth and fish poisoning. The sap mixed with water is used to treat malarial fever, it also treats bleeding. (13)

In Fiji the leaves also are one of the traditional materials for hatching the bure (Fiji), fallen branches serve as firewood, green wood is burned to dry copra, and the timber is used for crafts such as carvings and tool handles, as well as for building canoes and for general light construction. (35) The tree has a good network of lateral roots including three or four structured buttresses at the base of the trunk; it is used to stabilize soils, especially near the coast and along the banks of rivers. It is suitable as a windbreaks because it tolerates strong winds and resists breakage. (13)

The main products are the edible kernels and the timber. Trees over 25 years old can produce up to 75 kg of fruit a year. (35) The tree is planted for soil stabilization and as a windbreak. The tree can be used to provide shade for plantation crops, (13) it has a dense canopy, which makes it unsuitable for close planting between light-demanding agricultural crops such as sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas), taro (Colocasia esculenta), sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum), and corn (Zea mays). However, it is suitable as a boundary tree to provide shade and shelter for more shade-tolerant crops. Some types are compatible with other trees such as vi (Spondias cyathera), canarium nut (Canariumspp.), and breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis).It also grows together well with cutnut (Barringtoniaspp.), sago palm (Metroxylon salomonense), betel nut palm (Areca catechu), and coconut (Cocos nucifera). (13)

12) Metroxylon sagu

Metroxylon is a genus of monoecious flowering plants in the Arecaceae (palm) family, consisting of seven species. They are native to Western Samoa, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Moluccas, the Carolines and Fiji in a variety of habitats, and cultivated westward to Thailand and Malaya.(48) Recent research indicates that the sago palm was an important food source for the ancient people of coastal China, in the period prior to the cultivation of rice.(99) Common in lowland rain forest. Dominates mainly in permanent or seasonal lowland freshwater swamps, preferably on mineral soils with a pH higher than 4.5. (49)

Metroxylon sagu is a multi-stemmed evergreen palm tree growing from 6-25 metres tall. It produces a number of unbranched stems that can be 36-60cm in diameter, each topped by 18-20 leaves that are usually 5-7 metres long but can be more.(13, 16) The palm produces tillers or suckers. Once planted, a regular succession of suckers is produced from the lowest part of the trunk, forming a cluster in various stages of development. Occasionally, suckers may be formed higher up on the bole. (76)

It reproduces by fruiting. Each stem (trunk) in a sago palm clump flowers and fruits at the end of its life, but the sago palm as an individual organism lives on through its suckers (shoots that are continuously branching off a stem at or below ground level). This species used to be the commercial source of sago, but its use for this has been largely superseded by the cassava plant, Manihot esculenta. To harvest the starch in the stem, it is felled shortly before or early during this final flowering stage when starch content is highest. The vegetative growth phase lasts for at least 8 years before the tree flowers . (49) A single palm may yield about 180-350 kilos of sago . (16) Sago larvae farming is common in Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Thailand; the average yield is about 2 kg of larvae/trunk. (75) The grubs are eaten fresh or roasted, they contain 6.9% protein, 8.5% carbohydrate, 11.3% fat and 0.7% ash. (76)

Sago palm is propagated by cutting and replanting young suckers rather than by seed.(48) Usually, the wet starch extracted from the stems is boiled, fried or roasted, alone or mixed with other foodstuffs; it is also used industrially in the manufacture of cakes, noodles, and custard powders . The fully ripe fruit is astringent, but is eaten as a delicacy by local people . (15) Dextrose sugar extract from sago palm starch can be processed to yield alcohol for use as a biofuel. (16, 49) In Vanuatu the leaves are used for roofing traditional houses.(74) The leaves, and the fibres obtained from them, are commonly used for thatching, weaving mats etc.(90, 114) Thatches made from this plant normally last at least 5 years. Processing of the pith to yield starch produces a fibre;(90) the waste from pith processing is a fertilizer.(49) The starch obtained from the stems is a suitable pulp for paper and textiles.(20) The bark may be used as a domestic fuel after drying.(49) It can also be used as flooring material.(49)

13) Morinda citrifolia

Morinda citrifolia is a fruit-bearing tree in the coffee family, Rubiaceae. It’s a tree of 15-20m high with a massive trunk. (36) Its native range extends across Southeast Asia and Australasia, and the species is now cultivated throughout the tropics and widely naturalized. (29) It grows up to 600masl in sunny places. (74) Among some 100 names for the fruit across different regions are the more common English names of great morinda, Indian mulberry, noni, beach mulberry, and cheese fruit. (30)

Morinda citrifolia grows in shady forests, as well as on open rocky or sandy shores. (31) It reaches maturity in about 18 months and yields about 4-8 kg of fruit every month throughout the year. It is tolerant of saline soils, drought conditions, and secondary soils. The fresh fruit is a famine food in most regions, but remains a staple food among some cultures, and is used in traditional medicine. In the international market, it is sold as a supplement as capsules or juices, and skin products. The fruit contains lignans, oligo- and polysaccharides, flavonoids, iridoids, fatty acids, scopoletin, catechin, beta-sitosterol, damnacanthal, and alkaloids. (32)

14) Pandanus julianettii

The Pandanales are distributed in tropical rainforests and coastal regions, comprised of five families, ranging from tree-like plants, to vines and herbs. Many of the species in the Pandanaceae family have ornamental value or they are used as a source of fiber for making mats. (74) Pandanus julianettii is a small sometimes large dioecious monocotyledon shrub or tree found throughout the Pacific, in the Solomon Islands typically found on the coast or inland garden sights. (70) It can reach a height of 1-20 meters. (16) The plants are cultivated, semi-cultivated and harvested from the wild for their edible seeds, which have had a special significance for the nutrition of the native population of New Guinea. (5) This specie and the related P. Brosimos and P. Antaresensis, have an important role in the history of the human society of the highlands of New Guinea and Fiji. (5) The plant is also grown for the production of textile fibers.

The fruit is a syncarp (formed from united carpels) which can grow up to 30 cm in diameter containing 50 or more fibrous segments each with 2-4 edible seeds which can be eaten raw or roasted. (70) The seeds are oily with a fair amount of protein. (16) Sometimes the young leaves and the tips of the aerial roots are eaten cooked. (5) Medicinal uses are not known. The leaves of most Pandanus spp. are used as handicraft, furniture and building materials. (70) A fiber obtained from the plant is used for making textiles. (16)

15) Pangium edule

Pangium edule belongs to the family flacourtiaceae. It is a large, evergreen tree with a wide, open, spreading crown that can be up to 50 meters in diameter. (16) The tree commonly reaches a height of 25 meters and can grow up to 60 meters tall. The straight, cylindrical bole often branches from about 5m; it can be up to 120cm in diameter and triangular buttresses 3-5 meters high. (15)

It’s a multipurpose tree of high importance to local economies. The fruit has a number of hard woody seeds surrounded by a soft endosperm all enclosed in a bright yellow mesocarp and green skin. The kernels are not eaten in Solomon Islands except in East Marovo, Western Province. In PNG the kernels are eaten after boiling and soaking to remove the cyanogenetic glucosides. (70) The seeds must be cooked or otherwise treated to remove toxic compounds. (14) They are washed, boiled and dried. (31) They have an almond-like flavor. (16 ) The fruit can be of up to 30cm long and 3 kg weigh. (31) They are sold in the local markets. (16 ) The use of the tree for food has become less widespread as the availability of other foods has increased, but it is still used as a staple food in more remote areas. (31)

The glucosides contained in the plant, although toxic, have antiseptic properties to sterilize wounds. (22) They are also applied externally as a poultice to boils. (18) The leaves are antiseptic. (4) They are crushed and used externally to sterilize wounds, treat skin parasites etc. (4, 18) They are heated on a fire then placed around the head and covered with a cloth as a remedy for head lice (19) and applied to sores and cuts. (19) The crushed bark from a mature tree is cooked in a soup and then given to lactating mothers to help the young child to become stronger and more resistant to illness. (19) The steam of the heated inner bark bring relief to swollen and painful joints. (19) The oil from the seed is used as an illuminant and for making soap. (4, 8) The shells are used as rattles on dancing masks. (58) The heartwood is a light yellow; it is not clearly demarcated from the yellowish to orange sapwood. The wood is hard, not very durable (4) but used in traditional house construction. (4, 17)

16) Pometia pinnata

Pometia pinnata is a large tropical hardwood and fruit tree species, with common names including matoa, taun tree, island lychee and tava of the plant family Sapindaceae. It is a large, fast-growing evergreen tree that can reach a height of 40m, growing about 1.7m in a year. (18) A plant of the lowland humid tropics, it is found at elevations up to 500masl, sometimes up to 1,700masl. (11) It prefers deep, rich, moist soil and a position in full sun or light shade (18) on a variety of soils: limestone, clayey, sandy or loamy soils; from dryland forests to occasionally freshwater swamps. (11) The bole can be straight, curved or sinuous, is usually free of branches for 13-22m and up to 100-140cm dbh. (11) It is often prominently buttressed up to 5.5m tall, spreading up to 3.5m from the main stem. (11) The tree is occasionally cultivated in its native range for its edible fruit. (11)

Often used in traditional medicine in the Pacific Islands; (14) to treat bones pain, migraine, to aid expulsion of placenta after childbirth, to relieve rheumatic aches, to relieve fever, flu, diarrhoea, fever and constipation. (14) The gum obtained from the inner bark is used to seal wooden canoes. (9) A hair shampoo is made from the bark. (9) The heartwood is a pink or light red, becoming red-brown upon exposure to light; it is not clearly demarcated from the 3-5cm wide band of lighter-coloured sapwood with medium texture; the grain is straight or interlocked, the surface is lustrous due to the resin content. The wood is moderately heavy, hard and strong; not very durable, with some resistance to fungi and termites but susceptible to dry wood borers. It is slow to dry, with a high risk of checking and distortion, but once dry it is stable. It can be worked with ordinary tools, though there can be some difficulties due to the interlocked or wavy grain; planed surfaces are sometimes rough and may require filling; nailing and screwing are good; gluing is correct. It is suitable for domestic flooring, mouldings, joinery, ship and boat building, spars, tool handles, agricultural and sporting implements, interior trimming, block board, and tight cooperage. It is well accepted for making boxes and crates. In outdoor constructions, contact with the ground must be prevented as the wood is not durable. It is suitable for hardboard, particle boards and pulpwood. The wood makes a good-quality veneer which has potential to be used as decorative veneer and is very suitable for core and outer layers of plywood. (11, 8, 4) It’s a high quality fuel wood. (9)

17) Spondias dulcis

Spondias dulcis is a deciduous that belongs to the family Anacardiaceae. The tree cultivated since remote times in tropical Asia and Oceania., it is very ramified, 10-30 m tall, with erect trunk, cylindrical, of 20-50 cm of diameter, with smooth or slightly fissured greyish or pale brown bark and from whose wounds exudes a very viscous resin; often with flattened roots similar to buttresses. (72) A fast-growing tree that can reach up to 20m in its native range of Melanesia and Polynesia; however, it usually averages 10–12m in other areas. The species is often planted in South-East Asia, including in forest clearings, therefore indigenous and naturalized occurrence can’t be distinguished. During its fruit growth, maturation and ripening, many morphological, physiological and biochemical modifications occur. Some fruits in the South Sea Islands weigh over 500g each. (71) The ripe fruit is characterized by a sweet and pleasant flavor. It is a good source of minerals and vitamin C. (28) The unripe fruit is used in salads, for preserves and for flavoring various dishes; the ripe ones, soft and sweet/sour tasting, are consumed raw or in jams, ice-creams and drinks, even alcoholic; in some places the young leaves are consumed raw or cooked as vegetables. (72) It is propagated normally by seeds which can fruit in 2-4 years. (73) The trees bear fruits prolifically, continuously or seasonally depending on the rainfall pattern; therefore is a valuable home garden tree but more information is needed to assess its potential on market oriented forms of production.

18) Syzigium malaccense

Syzygium malaccense (mountain apple) is a flowering tree native to Malaysia and Australia.(25) It is one of the species cultivated since prehistoric times by the Austronesian peoples. They were carried and introduced deliberately to Remote Oceania as canoe plants. In modern times, it has been introduced throughout the tropics, including many Caribbean islands.(25) The mountain apple is an edible fruit that can be consumed when raw and ripe. It thrives in humid climates with an annual rainfall of 152 cm or more. It can grow at a variety of altitudes, from sea level up to 2,740 m. The tree can grow to 12–18 m in height.(64) The mountain apple was one of the "canoe plants" arriving 1000–1700 years ago.(65) Due to the high water content, has less calories than Gala or Fuji apples and contains a moderate amount of vitamins and minerals.

Various parts of the tree are used in traditional medicine, the leaves and bark have in fact been shown to possess antibiotic activity, the bark is astringent, whilst the plant is also weakly hypoglycaemic. (19, 49) The plant contains tannins and is astringent.(49) Its bark, leaves and roots are used against different ailments including cough, low appetite, bone pains, diabetes, gonorrhea, swollen stomach after childbirth, sore throat, thrush, bronchitis and constipation.(49) The species was listed in the Global Compendium of Weeds as “cultivation escape, environmental weed, naturalized, weed”. (64) It is grown in the tropics for its fruits, as an ornamental tree, shade tree, windbreak, and traditional medicine. It persists in natural forests where it was once planted. In many places became naturalized beyond its native range. (65)

19) Terminalia catappa

Terminalia catappa is a large tropical tree in the family Combretaceae, that grows mainly in the tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and Australia.(22) T. catappa is widely grown in tropical regions of the world as an ornamental tree, grown for the deep shade its large leaves provide. It is one of the most common trees of many tropical coasts with fifteen species of the genus Terminalia reported in the Solomon Islands.(70) It tolerates saline soils.(20) Plants are fast growing, up to 1m a year when young.(50) Trees can yield two crops a year in some areas, and in places have been known to exhibit more or less continuous fruiting.(20) A tree may yield around 5kg of kernels per year.(20)

The wood is red and solid, and has high water resistance; it has been used in Polynesia for making canoes. The timber has to be sawn into boards and kiln-dried as soon as possible after felling to avoid splitting. The sawn material needs to be open-stacked and well protected from hot wind and the sun. It is used for cabinet work, furniture and for the construction of buildings, boats, bridges, floors, panels, boxes, crates, planks, carts, wheelbarrows, barrels and water troughs. (4, 49)

The fruit is edible with acidic taste. The leaves contain several flavonoids (kaempferol or quercetin), several tannins (punicalin, punicalagin or tercatin), saponines and phytosterols. The bark yields 11-23% of tannin. (67) The leaves and the bark are used in traditional medicine.(23) The sap has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, modulatory activity, wound-healing, antidiabetic, antioxidant, hepato protective, anticancer activity and antiaging properties.(68)

20) Thespesia populnea

Thespesia is a genus of 13 flowering shrubs and trees in the Hibiscus family, Malvaceae, although within the family they are more closely related to cotton plants (Gossypium). The genus is distributed from the South Pacific through Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. The Portia tree reaches a height of 6–10m tall with a dbh of up to 20–30cm. (84) It grows up to 275masl (85) with an annual rainfall of 500–1,600mm. (83)

It was one of the main sources of bast fibers for the production of cordage and wood for Austronesian outrigger ships and carving. Though the plant seeds can survive for months on sea currents, no remains of T. populnea have been recovered from Polynesia prior to the Austronesian expansion (c. 5,000 BP), thus it is regarded as canoe plant, deliberately carried and introduced by Austronesian voyagers in the islands they settled.(81, 82) It is popular in Hawaii for woodworking (commonly turned into bowls) (86) because of the range of colors expressed (tan, through yellow, to red). Traditionally it was planted in sacred groves and used for religious sculpture throughout eastern Polynesia along with trees like Ficus, Fagraea berteroana, Casuarina equisetifolia and Calophyllum inophyllum.


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Artocarpus altilis

The trees are monoecious, with male and female flowers growing on the same tree. The male flowers emerge first, followed shortly afterward by the female flowers. The latter grow into capitula, which are capable of pollination just three days later. Pollination occurs mainly by fruit bats, but cultivated varieties produce fruit without pollination. The compound, false fruit develops from the swollen perianth, and originates from 1,500-2,000 flowers visible on the skin of the fruit as hexagon-like disks.

"Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit)". Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey, UK. 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.

Plants For A Future https://pfaf.org/

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Photos downloaded from http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/

Barringtonia asiatica

It is a small to medium-sized tree growing to 7–25 m tall. The leaves are narrow obovate, 20–40 cm in length and 10–20 cm in width.

The fruit measures 9–11 cm in diameter, where a thick spongy fibrous layer covers the 4–5 cm diameter seed. It is also known as Box Fruit due to the distinct box-shaped fruit it produces. The fruit is dispersed in the same way as a coconut – by ocean current – and is extremely water-resistant and buoyant. It can survive afloat for up to fifteen years.

"Sea Poison Tree". Mangrove and wetland wildlife at Sungei Buloh Nature Park. Singapore. Archived from the original on December 2, 2011. Retrieved August 23, 2016.

Thiel M. & Gutow L. (2004). The ecology of rafting in the marine environment. I. (PDF). Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review. Oceanography and Marine Biology - an Annual Review. 42. pp. 181–263. doi:10.1201/9780203507810.ch6. ISBN 978-0-8493-2727-8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-24. Accessed 2009-05-31.

Flora of China: Barringtonia asiatica

Tsou H. and Mori S. "Seed coat anatomy and its relationship to seed dispersal in subfamily Lecythidoideae of the Lecythidaceae (The Brazil Nut Family)." Botanical Bulletin of Academia Sinica. Vol. 43, 37-56. 2002. Accessed 2009-05-31.

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Illustration From Francisco Manuel Blanco, Flora de Filipinas, 1877–1883.

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Photos downloaded from http://www.ramou.net/tahitien/tiare/lecythidaceae.htm

Barringtonia procera

Leaves: Inflorescences terminal spikes, pendulous, 30-80 cm long, densely flowered with up to 120 flowers; Flowers sessile; Fruits cylindrical, 8-sided, hooked near base on alternate ribs, 6-7.5 by 3-4 by 3-3.5 cm. Seeds ovoid, slightly fissured, 3-3.5 by 1-2 cm.

Terminal bunches. Petiole 0-1 cm, flattened at base, 12-20 mm diameter. Leaves obovate oblanceolate (oblong) 45-50(60) x 15-18(24) cm, coriaceous, dark green; margin entire, crenulate towards apex; base attenuate; apex acute-acuminate; nerves 10-15 pairs, not reaching the margin, prominent especially on underside; lamina crinkled, undulate.

Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants, http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336

Evans, B.R. 1999. Edible Nut Trees in Solomon Islands: A Variety Collection of Canarium, Terminalia and Barringtonia. ACIAR Technical Reports No. 44. 96pp.

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Morphology of Barringtonia procera fruit (cut nut) (x 1).

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Photos downloaded from https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Barringtonia_asiatica

Burckella obovata

Leaves simple, crowded at the top of the twigs, broadly obovate to obovate or elliptical, 10-30(-40) cm × 5-13 cm, glabrous, petiole up to 4(-7.5) cm long; pedicels up to 2.5 cm long. Flowers 40-60 together, white.

Fruit a globose to obovoid berry, 7-10 cm × 5-8 cm, 4-5-furrowed, light green, flesh white. Seed solitary, 4-6.5 cm long.

Lam, H.J. & van Royen, P., 1952. Revision of the Sapotaceae of the Malaysian area in a wider sense. 2. Burckella Pierre. Blumea 6: 580-593.

Peekel, P.G., 1984. Flora of the Bismarck Archipelago for naturalists. Office of Forests, Division of Botany, Lae, Papua New Guinea. 638 pp.

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Photographs by the National and regional Governments of Papua New Guinea; and the State Government of New South Wales

Burckella sorei

A medium-sized to fairly large tree up to 36 m tall, with bole up to 65 cm in diameter and buttresses up to 3 m high; leaves elliptical, c. 12.5 cm × 6 cm, glabrous, petiole up to 3 cm long; pedicels up to 4 cm long; fruit ovoid to ellipsoid, up to 15 cm long. B. sorei is sometimes confused with B. obovata, which differs in its usually larger, more obovate leaves with less fine venation and larger flowers.

The obovoid-ellipsoid fruit can be up to 75mm long and 38mm in diameter, containing a single large seed.

The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens; Singapore, 1967

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Photos downloaded from http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/

Canarium salomonense

Stipules caduceus, inserted on the petiole, auricle-shaped; leaves with 5-7 leaflets, leaflets abruptly shortly acuminate at apex, margin entire, glabrous, with 8-14 pairs of secondary veins. Imparipinnate; 2-3 pairs of leaflets plus one terminal. Petiole 6-8 cm, bearing the stipules 1-3 cm from base; petiolules about 2 cm

Inflorescence terminal, male one laxly paniculate, female one more slender.

Male flowers 4-5.5 mm long, female flowers 10 mm long, stamens 6.

Fruit flattened ellipsoid, c. 35 mm × 23 mm × 15 mm, glabrous.

Canarium (PROSEA Timbers). (2018, August 7). PlantUse English. Retrieved 10:47, April 9, 2020 from https://uses.plantnet-project.org/e/index.php?title=Canarium_(PROSEA_Timbers)&oldid=328505

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Photos downloaded from https://www.rarepalmseeds.com/canarium-salomonense

Cocos nucifera

Cocos nucifera is a large palm, growing up to 30 m tall, with pinnate leaves 4–6 m long; old leaves break away cleanly, leaving the trunk smooth.

It is a single-trunked palm with a branchless, often-curved, light gray trunk which is swollen at the base and topped by a crown of pinnate, downward-arching, green fronds. The palm produces both the female and male flowers on the same inflorescence; thus, the palm is monoecious.

Fragrant yellow flowers in elongated clusters to 4' long only appear in tropical climates where they bloom on and off throughout the year. Female flowers are followed by single-seeded coconuts (to 14" long). The coconut fruit is a drupe, not a true nut. Like other fruits, it has three layers: the exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. The first two make up the "husk" of the coconuts.

Thampan, P.K. (1981). Handbook on Coconut Palm. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co.

Willmer, Pat. (2011). Pollination and Floral Ecology. Princeton University Press. p. 57 Archived April 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. ISBN 978-0-691-12861-0.

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Photos and illustration downloaded from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut#/media/File:Cocos_nucifera_-_K%C3%B6hler%E2%80%93s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-187.jpg

Dracontomelon vitiense

A large tree native to the islands of the South West Pacific with a buttressed trunk.

Large, pinnate leaves and yellow, apricot-sized, edible fruits. The ovoid to ellipsoid fruits ripen black and measure up to 2 cm long. These have a thick layer of juicy, chewy and sweet flesh with pleasant acidity around a large, curious, disk-shaped seed and are much sought after by islanders in Melanesia.

Kochummen, K. M. (1996). "Dracontomelon costatum Blume". In Soepadmo, E.; Wong, K. M.; Saw, L. G. (eds.). Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak

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Photos downloaded from https://www.rarepalmseeds.com/dracontomelon-vitiense

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Ficus macrocarpa

Leaves oval, green, no change, evergreen. They are variable, coriaceous, oblong, elliptic to broadly elliptic or obovate, usually 5-8 cm long, 3-5 cm wide, glabrous, margins entire, petioles 0.6-2 cm long.

Inconspicuous flowers. Flowering in winter. It has separate male and female reproductive parts on the same tree (monoecious). Synconia sessile, arising among or just below the leaves, depressed-globose, 6-10 mm in diameter, subtended by 3 broadly ovate, ± persistent bracts.

Mostly green multiple fruit, small (0.25 - 0.50 inches), fruiting in spring.

Randall RP, 2012. A Global Compendium of Weeds. Perth, Australia: Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, 1124 pp. http://www.cabi.org/isc/FullTextPDF/2013/20133109119.pdf

SelecTree. "Ficus microcarpa Tree Record." 1995-2020. Sep 1, 2020. https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/ficus-microcarpa >

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Photos downloaded from Plants of Hawaii, Image 061106-1428

Gnetum gnemon

It is a small to medium-size tree (unlike most other Gnetum species, which are lianas), growing to 15–20 m tall.

The leaves are evergreen, opposite, 8–20 cm long and 3–10 cm broad, entire, emerging bronze-coloured, maturing glossy dark green. The fruit-like female strobilus consist of little but skin and a large nut-like seed 2–4 cm long inside. Male strobili are small, arranged in long stalks, and are often mistaken for flowers.

Baloch, E. 2011. Gnetum gnemon. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T194943A8924190. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1.RLTS.T194943A8924190.en.

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Hibiscus tiliaceus

Hibiscus tiliaceus reaches a height of 4–10 m, with a trunk up to 15 cm in diameter. The flowers of H. tiliaceus are bright yellow with a deep red centre upon opening. Over the course of the day, the flowers deepen to orange and finally red before they fall. The branches of the tree often curve over time. Intertwined trunks and branches often sprawl over the ground to form large impenetrable colonies. Showy funnel-shaped flowers bloom throughout the year. Each flower has five overlapping petals and a pronounced central staminal column consisting of the stamens and pistil. Flowers last only one day, opening in the morning as lemon yellow with dark maroon throats, but turning dull red by evening when they drop to the ground. Simple, heart-shaped leaves with pointed tips are bright green above and hairy gray-green beneath. Fruits are brown ovoid dry capsules.

Little Jr., Elbert L.; Roger G. Skolmen (1989). "Hau, sea hibiscus" (PDF). Common Forest Trees of Hawaii (Native and Introduced). United States Forest Service. Retrieved 2010-02-16.

Motooka, P.; L. Castro; D. Nelson; G. Nagai; L. Ching. "Hibiscus tiliaceus Hau" (PDF). Weeds of Hawaiʻi’s Pastures and Natural Areas; An Identification and Management Guide. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Retrieved 2010-02-16.

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Photos downloaded from https://www.australianplantsonline.com.au/hibiscus-tiliaceus-rubra.html

Inocarpus fagifer

Commonly known as Tahiti Chestnut is an evergreen tree exhibiting a large and dense canopy, and short, thick, irregular and buttressed bole of up to 90 cm in diameter. It grows usually about 20 m in height. It has a shallow taproot and well-formed network of lateral roots.

Leaves alternate, simple; petiole 0.5-1.5 cm long; stipules small; blade oblong, 10-50 cm × 4-18 cm, thinly leathery, shiny yellowish-green, pink when young, glabrous, drooping. The inflorescence is an axillary spike, 1-17 cm long.

The fragrant flowers cluster along a short rachis at the ends of the branches and twigs. About 10 mm long, they have five white to cream or pale yellow petals. Trees begin flowering at 3 to 5 years old, with the flowering season usually taking place in November and December, and fruiting in the following January and February, though this varies through the tree's range and from year to year. Seed up to 8 cm long, with very hard seed-coat and white endosperm.

"Inocarpus fagifer (PROSEA)." PlantUse English, . 29 Apr 2016, 15:34 UTC. 1 Sep 2020, 10:00 <https://uses.plantnet-project.org/e/index.php?title=Inocarpus_fagifer_(PROSEA)&oldid=221324>.

Pauku, Richard L. (April 2006). "Inocarpus fagifer (Tahitian Chestnut)" (PDF). Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry. Permanent Agriculture Resources: Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-11-13.

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Metroxylon sagu

True sago palm is a suckering (multiple-stemmed) palm, each stem only flowering once (hapaxanthic) with a large upright terminal inflorescence. A stem grows 7–25 m tall before it ends in an inflorescence. Before flowering, a stem bears about 20 pinnate leaves up to 10 m long. Each leaf has about 150–180 leaflets up to 175 cm long. The inflorescence, 3–7.5 m tall and wide, consists of the continuation of the stem and 15–30 upwardly-curving (first-order) branches spirally arranged on it. Each first-order branch has 15–25 rigid, distichously arranged second-order branches; each second-order branch has 10–12 rigid, distichously arranged third-order branches. Flower pairs are spirally arranged on the third-order branches, each pair consisting of one male and one hermaphrodite flower. The fruit is drupe-like, about 5 cm in diameter, covered in scales which turn from bright green to straw-coloured upon ripening.

Schuiling, D.L. (2009) Growth and development of true sago palm (Metroxylon sagu Rottbøll) with special reference to accumulation of starch in the trunk: a study on morphology, genetic variation and ecophysiology, and their implications for cultivation. (PhD thesis Wageningen University).

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Photos downloaded from http://www.pacsoa.org.au/wiki/Metroxylon_sagu

Morinda citrifolia

The plant bears flowers and fruits all year round. The fruit is a multiple fruit that has a pungent odour when ripening. It is oval in shape and reaches 10–18 cm size. At first green, the fruit turns yellow then almost white as it ripens. It contains many seeds.

Its leaf branches are perennial and abundant, with shade in bright dark green that can vary from the rounded as well as fine and pointed (elliptical leaves), varying from 8 to 25 cm in length. Its flowers are white, tubular, and small (between 10 and 30 mm in length), being grouped and inserted in the floral peduncle. The petioles are characterized by leaving ring-like marks on the stems and the corolla is white and greenish.

Nelson, Scot C (March 2001). "Noni cultivation in Hawaii" (PDF). The noni website, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Retrieved 12 November 2016.

Chan-Blanco, Y., Vaillant, F., Mercedes Perez, A., Reynes, M., Brillouet, J. M., & Brat, P. (2006). The noni fruit (Morinda citrifolia L.): A review of agricultural research, nutritional and therapeutic properties. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 19(6–7), 645–654. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfca.2005.10.001

Dixon, A. R., McMillen, H., & Etkin, N. L. (1999). Ferment this: The transformation of noni, a traditional polynesian medicine (Morinda citrifolia, Rubiaceae). Economic Botany, 53(1), 51–68.

Morton, J. F. (1992). The ocean-going noni, or Indian mulberry (Morinda citrifolia, Rubiaceae) and some of its “colorful” relatives. Economic Botany, 46(3), 241–256.

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Photos downloaded from https://nectarphyto.com/morinda-citrifolia-noni/

Pandanus julianettii

The leaves formed the spiral around the bars, the length of the leaf 3.73 m wide leaves 31 cm layout of thorns around the edge of the leaves and the colour of the leaves 130C (very light green), the form of the leaf taper sharp.

The inflorescence on male trees is a densely-branched spadix with a dozen long spikes, each containing many staminate phalanges. In each phalange is a column 3 mm long topped by up to 9 subs sessile anthers. The male flowers are white, and the whole male flowering organ may be up to 2 m long.

"Pandanus julianettii". Edible Medicinal And Non-Medicinal Plants. 4. Springer. pp. 128–130. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-4053-2_17

Stilltoe, Paul (1983). Roots of the Earth: Crops in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Manchester, UK: Manchester university Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-0874-0.

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Photos downloaded from https://woromopapua.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/pandanus-julianetii-species/

Pangium edule

A large, widely spreading tree reaching a height of 25 meters. Leaves are very large, smooth, leathery, broadly ovate or rounded, about 20 cm long, with pointed tip and heart-shaped base. Petioles are as long as the leaves. Flowers are yellowish-green or whitish, having a faint odour, about 4 centimetres across. Fruit is pendant upon thick, brown stalks, rounded, 10 to 20 cm in diameter, brown and rough, containing seeds which are 3 to 5 cm across, compressed, somewhat angular, embedded in a yellowish, sweet, aromatic and edible pulp.

Characteristic of Pangium Edule Reinw as food preservative from different geographical sites / Anwar Kasim* and Wahyudi David / Asia Pacific Journal of Sustainable Agriculture Food and Energy (APJSAFE), Vol 1 (1): 6-9 2013

Pangium edule reinw: A promising non-edible oil feedstock for biodiesel production / Atabani, A.E.; Badruddin, I.A.; Masjuki, H.H.; Chong, W.T.; Lee, K.T. / Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, 40 (2). pp. 583-594 (2015)

"Pangium edule (PROSEA)." PlantUse English, . 11 Mar 2016, 16:40 UTC. 2 Sep 2020, 07:29 <https://uses.plantnet-project.org/e/index.php?

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Photos downloaded from https://www.pngplants.org/PNGtrees/TreeDescriptions/Pangium_edule_Reinw.html

Pometia pinnata

It has alternate, stalked, compound leaves that are more than 1 m long. Each leaf consists of 4–15 pairs of leaflets, and lacks a terminal leaflet. The papery to leathery leaflets are egg-shaped to drop-shaped, slightly sickle-shaped, red when young, dark green above and lighter green below when mature, hairless to covered with hair, 6–40 by 2–13 cm, and with toothed margins. The lowest pair of leaflets is smaller than others, round, ear-shaped or cushion-shaped, 0.4–3 by 0.3–5 cm, appearing like a stipule, and with one of the leaflets reduced.

The plant is monoecious, producing both male and female flowers in the same individual. The flowers are about 2–2.5 mm across, generally white to green-yellow, and occur on branched flowering stalks that are 15–70 cm long.

Its fleshy fruits have a stony core each. Its fruit is ellipsoid to round, 1.5–5 by 1–3 cm, and red turning black when ripe. The seed is egg-shaped, unequal sided, up to 2.5 by 1.5 cm, brown and with a white covering (aril).

Conn, Barry J.; Damas, Kipiro Q. (2006+). "PNGTreesKey" (Online, from pngplants.org/PNGtrees/TreeDescriptions/). Guide to Trees of Papua New Guinea. Retrieved 16 Nov 2013.

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Photos downloaded from http://www.asianflora.com/Sapindaceae/Pometia-pinnata.htm

Spondias dulcis

The leaves are pinnate, comprised of 9 to 25 glossy, elliptic leaflets. At the beginning of the dry, cool season, the leaves turn bright-yellow and fall, but the tree with its nearly smooth, light gray-brown bark and graceful, rounded branches is not unattractive during the few weeks that it remains bare. The flowers are white and small in terminal panicles. Fruits are oval, containing a fibrous pit which is edible.

The tree produces small, inconspicuous white flowers in terminal panicles. The tiny flowers can be unisexual of hermaphroditic with 5 white ovate petals, 2-3 mm long. Its oval fruits, 6–9 cm long, are borne in bunches of 12 or more on a long stalk. Over several weeks, the fruit fall to the ground while still green and hard, then turn golden-yellow as they ripen. According to Morton (1987) some fruits in the South Sea Islands weigh over 500 g each.

Morton, J. Ambarella. Center for New Crops & Plant Products. Purdue University. 1987.

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Photos downloaded from http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:71455-1

Syzygium malaccense

Its evergreen leaves are opposite, short-petioled, elliptic-lanceolate or oblanceolate; soft-leathery, dark-green and fairly glossy on the upper surface, paler beneath; 15-45 cm long, 9-20 cm wide. The veins are indistinct above, but they and the pale midrib are prominent on the underside. New growth is wine-red at first, changing to pink-buff. The abundant flowers, only mildly fragrant, and borne on the upper trunk and along leafless portions of mature branches in short-stalked clusters of 2 to 8, are 5-7.5 cm wide, and composed of a funnel-like base topped by 5 thick, green sepals, 4 usually pinkish-purple to dark-red (sometimes white, yellow or orange) petals, and numerous concolorous (of the same color) stamens 4 cm long tipped with yellow anthers. Though showy, the flowers are hidden by the foliage until they fall and form a lovely carpet on the ground. The fruit, oblong or bell-shaped, 5-10 cm long, 2.5-7.5 cm wide at the apex, has thin, smooth, waxy skin, rose-red or crimson or sometimes white with streaks of red or pink, and white, crisp or spongy, juicy flesh of very mild, sweetish flavour. There may be a single oblate or nearly round seed or 2 hemispherical seeds, 1.6-2 cm in width, light-brown externally, green internally and somewhat meaty in texture. The fruits of some trees are seedless.

Morton, J. 1987. Malay Apple. p. 378–381. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.

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Photos downloaded from http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Syzygium+malaccense

Terminalia catappa

Its branches are distinctively arranged in tiers. The leaves are large, 15–25 cm long and 10–14 cm wide, ovoid, glossy dark green, and leathery. They are dry-season deciduous; before falling, they turn pinkish-reddish or yellow-brown, due to pigments such as violaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin.

The trees are monoecious, with distinct male and female flowers on the same tree. Leaves large spatula-shaped (15-30cm long, 9-18cm wide) thin leathery, arranged in a spiral at the tip of the twig. Young leaves reddish. Leaves turn yellow and red and drop off up to twice a year.

Many tiny white flowers emerge on long spikes (10-12cm long). The flowers lack petals and only have a star-shaped calyx. Male flowers are found at the tips of the spike, female flowers at the bottom of the spike. The flowers are said to smell bad.

The fruit is almond-shaped (4-8cm long), developing in clusters, green ripening yellow. The fruit has a thick, leathery, corky outer layer enclosing air cavities, with a hard thick stone in the centre. Inside the stone is a sliver of edible kernel composed of tightly coiled seed-leaves of the embryo. But this is difficult to extract. The fruit floats and is able to survive for many days in water, during which time the fibrous outer coating rots away.

Pankaj Oudhia, Robert E. Paull. "West Indian Almond Terminalia catappa L. Combretaceae" p. 273-276. Encyclopedia of Fruit and Nuts. 2008, J. Janick and R. E. Paull, editors. CABI, Wallingford, United Kingdom.

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Photos downloaded from https://toptropicals.com/cgi-bin/garden_catalog/cat.cgi?uid=Terminalia_catappa&comments=1

Thespecia populnea

T. populnea is a medium-sized tree, usually 6-9 m tall with a dense evergreen crown, occasionally to 12-13m. The trunk is straight, branchless for up to 3 m, often twisted or bent, becoming hollow with age, without buttresses, 20-60 cm in diameter, with grey or light-brown bark, smooth or slightly fissured, becoming thick and rough, and inner bark pink to yellowish, tough and fibrous. Twigs glabrescent, green becoming grey with age, and covered with very small brown scales when young, as are leaf stalks, blades, flower stalks, calyx and fruits. Leaves are alternate, arranged spirally, blade orbicular, deltoid, ovate or oblong, simple and entire; 10-20 cm long and 6-13 cm wide. Flowers solitary in leaf axils, bisexual. Opening one at a time, on stout 1.3-5 cm pedicels. Petals five, broad rounded oblique, 5 cm or more in length, pale yellow, usually with maroon spot at base, with tiny star shaped hairs on outer surface. Stamens many on column, 2.5 cm long joined at petals at base. Pistil has five-celled ovary with slender style and five broader stigmas. Flowers open and close in the same day, with petals withering, and turning to purple or pink. The fruits are capsules rounded but flattened, about 3 cm in diameter and 2 cm high, slightly five-ridged, dark grey, hard, woody and dry, with calyx at base, usually remaining attached and not splitting open. Seeds several, elliptical, 1 cm long, brown, hairy.

Little EL Jr; Skolmen RG, 1989. Common forest trees of Hawaii. USDA Agriculture Handbook No 679. Washington DC, USA: United States Department of Agriculture.

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Photos downloaded from https://www.rarepalmseeds.com/thespesia-populnea

CHAPTER FIVE. Upgrading the training capacity in forestry science

3.2 Background

The need to upgrade facilities at the Faculty of Agriculture, fisheries and forestry (FAFF) to effectively deliver training, education and research services is one of the most important areas to be developed in the medium term. In addition, the need for qualified foresters and other technical forestry personnel in the Ministry of Forestry and Research (MoFR) and related occupations is high in the country. The Ministry expects the department to be strengthened and to develop its infrastructures, facilities, staffing, teaching resources and practical experience programmes to continue its role in capacity building in the country. Currently the MoFR depends on SINU for its manpower supply; they assist SINU forestry students on transportation and logistics involved in their practical three months program at Poitete Island and occasionally allocates part time lecturers to FAFF when needed. In addition of young nationals accessing quality education and training, broader objectives are increased overall economic growth with equality and job opportunities for more nationals.

The National Assessment Report (2006) prepared by the Ministry of National Planning and Aid Coordination called for the implementation of a strategic forestry development in five major areas, one of which is to facilitate and promote local participation in forestry administration, harvesting and resource replenishment. The proposed project is therefore aligned with the Solomon Islands National Development Plan which recognizes the development of forestry education at the tertiary level. SNRAS is also committed to take a leading role on higher education among countries within the South Pacific breadth providing student-centred training with emphasis on indigenous research experience, weekly seminars, and by conducting research relevant to Solomon Islands context.

5.2 Objectives

i. To provide the forestry department with basic equipment and facilities that will complement the theoretical training and facilitate the future planning of postgraduate, Master or PhD courses in forestry.
ii. To provide quality training in wood technology, silviculture and plant systematics, and the conditions for basic research in those areas.

5.3 Organization of the Forestry Department within SINU

The FAFF enrols over four hundred students every year and continue to consult with their stakeholders to upgrade their programs offered to ensure that they remain relevant to Solomon Islands context. The FAFF currently offers Certificate, Diploma and Bachelor programs in the field of Agriculture, and Certificate and Diploma programs in the fields of Environment and Forestry studies; the fisheries department has been recently incorporated in the faculty. BSc programs in Environment and in Forestry are in preparation.

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5.4 Brief outline of the proposed Forestry BSc program

5.4.1 Background

The Solomon Islands terrestrial biodiversity is ranked as “globally outstanding” (1) however they are in risk due to the impacts of unsustainable logging, natural disasters, population increase, invasive species, pollution and climate change. Commercial logging of natural forests began in the 1920s with Vanikoro Kauri Timber Company (2), today there are more than a hundred companies operating in the country which contribute between 50-70% of the annual export revenue (3,4). In Melanesia Solomon Islands is the second in both total land area and extent of natural forests, with timber contributing to 60% of the exports (table 1).

Table 1. Forestry state in the Melanesia and their contribution to the economy. (8, 9)

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The main aim of the BSc programme in forestry is therefore to provide the students with the knowledge, methods and skills needed to manage and conserve forest ecosystems by focusing on ecologically sound and economically viable alternatives of forest management and conservation, of timber valuation and industrial processing and marketing of forest products; in order to spearhead the modernization of forestry practices for sustainable development in the country. Graduates are expected to fulfil management roles in the national government as well as with the wood processing industry, logging companies, and non-governmental organizations (WWF, The Nature Conservancy, Solo Enviro, etc.) and other international organizations (FAO, UNEP, Asian Development Bank, etc.), do consultancies on certified wood, carbon sequestration, rural development, watershed management as well as research. The program comprehends the delivery of 20 units (6hours per week of contact hours per unit) on six academic semesters of which the last one will be allocated for the preparation of a final year supervised project at any arranged location. The units are arranged in the following way:

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5.4.2 Structure

The program entails two orientations (mentions) depending on the main topic the final year student will undertake in his/her project. They are:

1) Forest management

It is the process of planning and implementing practices for the stewardship and use of tropical forests and plantations to meet specific environmental, economic, social and cultural objectives. It deals with the overall administrative, economic, legal, social, technical and scientific aspects related to natural and planted forests. It may involve varying degrees of deliberate human intervention, ranging from actions aimed at safeguarding and maintaining forest ecosystems and their functions, to those favouring specific socially or economically valuable species or groups of species for the improved production of forest goods and services.(5)

2) Forest industries

The forest industry has a key role in the development towards a sustainable, bio based society. The wood technologist is concerned with the profitable conversion of the raw materials of the forest to a large number of products for distribution to a wide variety of markets. He needs to understand the basic processes through which wood must pass in its conversion to the wide variety of products made from it. Sawn timber, length packaged, is usually sold dried to the final moisture content relevant to the end use of the product. Wood can be used for the manufacture of structural elements in all sorts of buildings, cladding products and joinery. It is also a key component of sheet material such as plywood, OSB, fibreboards and particleboards. For a wood conversion plant to be successful, its product must be competitive in price and quality with other wood-using industries throughout the world as well as with industries using other types of raw materials (6,7).


(1) Pauku R. and Lapo W. (2009) Solomon Islands' National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan, 72p.
(2) Bennett, Judith A. (2000) Pacific Forest: A History of Resource Control and Contest in Solomon Islands, c. 1800-1997, White Horse Press; Brill, Cambridge; Leiden.
(3) Shearman P. Bryan J. Laurance W. (2012). Are we approaching ‘peak timber’ in the tropics? Biological Conservation 151: 17–21.
(4) Solomon Islands Forest Resource Assessment Update 2011 – Final Report. Sinclair Knight Merz ABN 37 001 024 095. Australia
(5) Glossary of Forestry Terms in British Columbia (pdf). Ministry of Forests and Range (Canada). March 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
(6) Unasylva (1970) An international review of forestry and forest industries, published by the Food and Agriculture of the United Nations No. 96 Vol. 24 (1)
(7) www.swedishwood.com
(8) Mohamed N. and Clark K. (1996) Forestry on Customary-owned Land: Some Experiences from the South Pacific, 33p.
(9) FAO (1996) Asia Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study: Regional Study - The South Pacific, Working Paper No: APFSOS/WP/01, available at http://www.fao.org/3/W4354E/W4354E00.htm#TopOfPage.

CHAPTER SIX. Establishment of a wood processing and value adding workshop

6.1 Definition

The proposed wood processing workshop will allow the students to explore the trade of carpentry and get the basic skill on woodworking. Carpentry is the process of shaping timber using hand tools. The products are used in building construction, such as doors and windows, furniture manufacturing, patterns for moulding in foundries, etc. Carpentry work mainly involves the joining together of wooden pieces and finishing the surfaces after shaping them. Hence, the term joining is also used commonly for carpentry. The student will learn about timber properties and behaviour and other carpentry materials, wood working tools, carpentry operations and the method of making common types of joints. Students will be introduced to the tools, equipment, and practices common to the trade, with a constant emphasis on safe work habits. They will identify, explore, and apply various methods of wood joinery while developing technical skills with various hand and power tools common to the carpentry trade. They will also develop skills in communication through drafting, and apply basic math concepts to solve trade-related problems.

6.2 Goals

Students will be able to:

1. Apply occupational health and safety regulations and safe work practices in the workplace.
2. Identify and describe solid wood products and joinery.
3. Identify common hand tools and describe their proper uses.
4. Identify and describe the safe operation and maintenance of portable power tools.
5. Identify and describe the safe operation and maintenance of stationary power tools and demonstrate tool proficiency through selected shop projects.
6. Identify and demonstrate the use of basic drawing instruments.
7. Commercialize furniture and other products they have manufactured as required.


A training on wood working will enable the students to understand the anatomical, physical and mechanical properties of wood; besides the skills they will get to start-up small businesses, they will be also apt to engage on medium and large scale sawmills at an operational or managerial level, as they will be familiar with the major processes, safety regulations, and the proper manipulation and maintenance of machines.

6.3 Objective

To cater practicals on wood working for both the certificate and diploma programs, and for the BSc program in plan. The practicals will enable students to master basic and advanced techniques of wood processing, methods, diversify production and value adding options to optimize the complete use of timber in the Solomon Islands and to supply the demand of the internal and even external markets for wood products, furniture, structural elements for the construction industry, etc. By directly working with different timbers to manufacture different end products the students will gain a better understanding of the wood physical and mechanical properties, wood drying and preservation and wood anatomy for identification and evaluation of its properties and potential uses. The workshop will contain a full supply of necessary hand tools and basic equipment, with a minimum of industrial machines, so then the graduate will be ready to start up his/her own value adding business in his/her province. The workshop will also commercialize manufactured items according to the local demand.

6.4 Materials used in carpentry

Basic materials used in carpentry shop are timber and plywood. Auxiliary materials used are nails, screws, adhesives, paints, varnishes, etc. Timber is the name given to wood obtained from exogenous (outward growing) trees. In these trees, the growth is outward from the centre, by adding almost concentric layers of fresh wood every year known as annual rings. After the full growth, trees are cut and sawed to be converted into rectangular sections of various sizes for engineering purposes.

Timber is available in market in various shapes and sizes, commonly they are:

1. Log: The trunk of die tree which is tree from branches.
2. Balk: The log after sawing roughly to square cross section.
3. Deal: The log after sawing into rectangular cross section of width about 225 mm and thickness up to 100 mm.
4. Plank: The timber piece having width more than 275 mm and thickness 50 lo 150 mm.
5. Board: The timber piece below 50 mm in thickness and above 125 mm in width
6. Batten: The timber piece below 175 mm in width and thickness between 30 mm to 50 mm in thickness.
7. Scantlings: These are timber pieces of various assorted and nonstandard sizes other than the types given above.

6.5 Tools and equipment

Carpentry tools are used to produce components to an exact size. The types of carpentry tools are:

1. Marking tools 2. Measuring tools
3. Holding tools 4. Cutting tools
5. Planning tools 6. Boring tools
7. Striking tools 8. Miscellaneous tools

6.5.1 Descriptions

a. CLAW HAMMER: A claw hammer is a tool primarily used for pounding nails into or extracting nails from some other object. The head of the hammer does not form a straight line but curves down into the claw of the hammer. One side of the head is flat with either a smooth or textured surface and is used for impacting another surface. The other side of the head curves down and splits in the middle forming a “V” shape. This part is the claw of the hammer and is most commonly used for extracting nails from wood. The rounded end of the claw, in combination with the handle, is used to gain leverage when extracting a nail. The rubber of plastic hammer is a combination tool with rubber and plastic heads designed to protect the surface being struck. It is usually used on finished surfaces.
b. THE TAPE MEASURE: A tape measure or measuring tape is a flexible ruler. It consists of a ribbon of cloth, plastic, fiber glass, or metal strip with linear measurement markings. It is a common measuring tool. Its design allows for a measure of great length to be easily carried in pocket or toolkit and permits one to measure around curves or corners. Below a tape measure and a 12″ Carpenters Square.
c. THE UTILITY KNIFE: A utility knife is a knife used for general or utility purposes. The utility knife was originally a fixed blade knife with a cutting edge suitable for general work such as cutting hides and cordage, scraping hides, butchering animals, cleaning fish and other tasks.
d. THE CHISEL: A chisel is a tool with a characteristically sharp cutting edge for carving or cutting a hard material such as wood, stone, or metal by hand, struck with a mallet or hammer. The handle and blade of some types of chisel are made of metal or wood with a sharp edge in it.
e. THE SCREWDRIVER: A screwdriver is a tool, manual or powdered, for turning (driving or removing) screws. A typical simple screwdriver has a handle and a shaft, and a tip that the user inserts into the screw head to turn it. Handles are typically wooden, metallic or plastic and usually hexagonal, square or oval in cross-section to improve grip and prevent the tool from rolling when set down.
f. THE NAIL SET: A nail punch also called a nail set is used to drive the head of a nail flush with or below a surface. A pin punch is a similar tool used to drive pins for affixing a fixture to a rotating shaft. Nail and pin punches have a body by which the punch is held, with a flat ended cylindrical section whose diameter suits the object to be driven into the wood.
g. THE BLOCK (Jack) PLANE: A block plane is a small woodworking hand plane which typically has the iron bedded at a lower angle than other planes, with the bevel up. It is designed to cut end grain and is typically small enough to be used with one hand. A block plane is frequently used for paring end grain. This is possible because a block plane has its blade set at a shallow bed angle, allowing the blade to slice through end grain more efficiently; furthermore, for this to work, the plane is frequently held at an angle sometimes as much as 45 degrees to the direction to travel, so that the cutting edge slices the wood fibres as they pass from one end of the cutting edge to the other. A block plane has many other uses in woodworking. Typically, it is used for cleaning up components by removing thin shavings of wood in order to make a component fit with in fine tolerances. Chamfering (angling square edges) and removing glue lines are some of the other uses woodworkers find for the block plane. Below iron and wooden types.
h. THE CALIPER: A caliper is a device used to measure the distance between two opposite sides of an object. A caliper can be as simple as a compass with inward or outward-facing points. The tips of the caliper are adjusted to fit across the points to be measured, the caliper is then removed and the distance read by measuring between the tips with a measuring tool, such as a ruler.
i. FILES are multi points cutting tools. It is used to remove the material by rubbing it on the metals. Files are available in a number of sizes, shapes and coarseness.
j. HAND SAW: Hand saws, also known as “panel saws”, “fish saws”, are used to cut pieces of wood into different shapes. They usually operate by having a series of sharp points of some substance that is harder than the wood being cut. The hand saw is a bit like a tenon saw, but with one flat, sharp edge.
k. HACKSAW is used for cutting of rods, bars, pipes, flats etc. It consists of a frame, which is made from mild steel. The blade is placed inside the frame and is tightened with the help of a flange nut. The blade is made up of high carbon steel or high speed steel.
l. THE SAW HORSE: A saw-horse (saw-buck, trestle, buck) is a beam with four legs used to support a board or plank for sawing. A pair of sawhorses can support a plank, forming a scaffold. In certain circles, it is also known as a mule and a short sawhorse is known as a pony.
m. THE WORK BENCH: A work-bench is sturdy table at which manual work is done. They range from simple flat surfaces to very complex designs that may be considered tools in themselves. Workbenches are made from many different materials including metal, wood, stone, and composites depending on the needs of the work.
n. TOOL STORAGE SYSTEM: A toolbox (also called toolkit, tool chest or workbox) is a box to organize, carry, and protect the owner's tools.
o. THE LEVEL: A device for establishing a horizontal line or plane by means of a bubble in a liquid that shows adjustment to the horizontal by movement to the center of a slightly bowed glass tube. A carpenter pencil is a pencil that has a body with a rectangular or elliptical cross-section to prevent it from rolling away. Carpenter pencils are easier to grip than standard pencils, because they have a larger surface area.
p. TIN SNIPS: Tinner’s Snips, also known as tinner snips or tin snips are one of the most popular type of snips. They are defined by their long handles and short blades. They usually have extra wide jaws and are made of drop forged carbon steel. Depending on the size of the blade, tin snips can cut between 24 and 16 gauge cold rolled low-carbon tin.
q. NAIL PULLER: A cat’s paw or nail puller is a standard carpenter’s tool, consisting of a round or hexagonal bar that curves at one end to form a pointed, cup-shaped tip with a V-shaped cleft for gripping nail heads.
r. SPEED SQUARE: A speed square (rafter square, rafter angle square, triangle square) is an American, triangular-shaped, carpenter’s marking out tool which combines some of the most common functions of the combination square, try square and framing square into one. It is used to make basic measurements and mark lines on dimensional lumber and may be used as a saw guide for making short 45 and 90 degree cuts.
s. CIRCULAR SAW: A circular saw is a power-saw using a toothed or abrasive disc or blade to cut different materials using a rotary motion spinning around an arbor. In woodworking, the term “circular saw” refers specifically to the hand-held type and the table saw and chop saw are other common forms of circular saws. “Skilsaw” has become a generic trademark for conventional hand-held circular saws. Circular saw blades are specially designed for each particular material they are intended to cut and in cutting.
u. THE RANDOM ORBITAL SANDER: Random orbit sanders, also called Dual Action or D. A. sanders (referring to the rotation of the disk and the head) are hand-held power sanders where the action is a random orbit. Random orbit sanders combine the speed and aggressiveness of a belt sander with the ability to produce a finer finish than that available from a standard, slow speed orbital finishing sander. The random orbit sanding pattern is produced by simultaneously spinning the sanding disk and moving it in an ellipse. This ensures that no single part of the abrasive material travels the same path twice. Below a DeWalt 5-inch variable speed random orbital sander.
v. BRADAWL: A bradawl is used to make an indentation in wood or other materials in order to ease the insertion of a nail or screw.
w. WOOD WORKER’S VICE: An adjustable device used to hold wood for forming or cutting.
x. FRAME JIG: You don’t have to measure every single cut and joint if you have jigs. Most woodworkers make their own jigs. You usually use a jig with a power tool, to guide the piece through the saw. You can make a jig to cut a perfect circle. Maybe you need you to make furniture with tapered legs. A jig will accomplish this, without the hassle of re-marking the angles on each leg.

1. SLIDING BEVEL: if you’re going to be measuring a bunch of angles, a sliding bevel or T Bevel, will be a handy tool. This is adjustable and you can lock it at the angle you want to mark, making it much more time-savvy to mark multiple angles SAFETY GOGGLES: Safety glasses are forms of protective eyewear that usually enclose or protect the area surrounding the eye in order to prevent particulates, water or chemicals from striking the eyes. They are used in chemistry laboratories and in woodworking. Goggles are often worn when using power tools such as drills or chainsaws to prevent flying particles from damaging the eyes.
2. FACE SHIELD: A face shield is a device used to protect wearer’s entire face (or part of it) from impact hazard such as flying objects and road debris, chemical splashes (in industry), or potentially infectious fluid (in medical).
3. BENCH RULER: A ruler is used to measure the length, width or depth of an object. Rulers come in all types with all different measurements on them. They are in feet, inches, meters, centimeters etc.
4. STEEL FILE: A file is a metalworking, woodworking and plastic working tool used to cut fine amounts of material from a work piece. It most commonly refers to the hand tool style, which takes the form of a steel bar with a case hardened surface and a series of sharp, parallel teeth. Most files have a narrow, pointed tang at one end to which a handle can be fitted. Below an 8''/200mm Hand File Carpentry.
5. DRILL: A drill is a tool fitted with a cutting tool attachment or driving tool attachment, usually a drill bit or driver bit, used for boring holes in various materials or fastening various materials together with the use of fasteners. The attachment is gripped by a chuck at one end of the drill and rotated while pressed against the target material. The tip, and sometimes edges, of the cutting tool does the work of cutting into the target material. This may be slicing off thin shavings (twist drills or auger bits), grinding off small particles (oil drilling), crushing and removing pieces of the work piece (SDS masonry drill), countersinking, counter-boring or other operations. The drill press provides you with the ability to do precision drilling and deliver especially accurate large-diameter holes. One of the best features of a drill press is the ability for you to set the depth of the hole. This is especially useful when you have a number of holes you need to drill, all to the same depth. The drill press also allows you to use forstner bits, hole saws and spade bits, drilling large diameter holes to depths that would be very difficult to drill by hand. Below a drill and a BRACE AND BIT: A type of hand drill consisting of a bit and a brace to hold and turn it.
6. CARPENTER’S AXE: Carpenter’s Axe or Carpenter’s Hatchet is a small axe, usually slightly larger than a hatchet, used in traditional woodwork, joinery and log-building. It has a pronounced beard and finger notch to allow a “choked” grip for precise control. Below a Hults Bruk Tibro Carpenters Axe (20 Inch Hickory Handle).
7. FRAMING SQUARE: These dedicated right angles keep projects square, especially during assembly. A large square measuring 24 by 16 inches get the most use in cabinetry, for which perfectly square boxes are critical. Framing squares also come in handy for checking square edges on large work pieces such as plywood and doors. Smaller dedicated squares also come in handy for tighter spaces where standard 24-inch squares cannot fit. Below a Lufkin 600 x 400mm Rafter and Framing Square.
8. TRY SQUARE: Similar to larger framing squares, try squares are dedicated right angles. However, unlike framing squares, try squares have a metal blade fastened into a wooden handle rather than single-body construction. The thicker wooden handle provides a lip on either edge of the blade, allowing the tool to rest on the work piece more easily than its larger single-bodied counterpart.
9. COMBINATION SQUARE: A favourite of many wood workers, the combination square is one of the most versatile tools in the shop. In its simplest form, the combo verifies square edges and flat surfaces of work pieces. Beyond that purpose, the adjustable head of the combo is crucial for calibrating or checking machinery and laying out joinery. Because of this tool’s practicality, most shops have several combination squares on hand in sizes ranging from 4 to 12 inches.
10. BENCH VICE: Vice is a mechanical apparatus used to secure an object to allow work to be performed on it. Vices have two parallel jaws, one fixed and the other movable, threaded in and out by a screw lever.
11. HAND SCRAPPER: A hand scrapper is a single-edged tool used to scrape metal from a surface. This may be required where a surface needs to be trued, corrected for fit to a mating part, needs to retain oil (usually on a freshly ground surface), or even to give a decorative finish. Surface plates were traditionally made by scraping. Below a STANLEY # 80 cabinet scrapper.
12. JIGSAW (POWER TOOL): A jigsaw power tool is a jigsaw made up of a reciprocating saw blade. A jigsaw with a bevel function on the sole plate allows cutting angles of typically up to 45 degrees relative to the normal vertical stroke for cutting miter joints. In the past, what are now usually called scroll saws were often referred to as jig saws.
13-16. MICROTOME. A microtome is a specialized precision cutting instrument, which accurately and repeatedly slices sections from a block of embedded tissue. Different kinds of microtomes are used to section paraffin and plastic embedded tissues. The Lab-microtome is designed to cut micro sections of all kind of wooden specimen. Below the American Optical (AO) 860 Sliding Microtome and the American Optical 860 Sliding Block Microtome.
17. 10X HAND LENS. Wood Identification has never been more important to serve the purpose of global forest species protection and timber regulation. Macroscopic level wood identification practiced by wood anatomists can identify wood up to genus level. This is sufficient to serve as a frontline identification to fight against illegal wood logging and timber trade for law enforcement authority.
18. MICROSCOPE. Wood is the structural tissue of plants and is heterogeneous in nature. It is composed of xylem cells made of cellulose, lignin and hemi cellulose. With the invention of microscope, understanding the characteristic features of wood has gained importance. Visualization of transverse/cross sectioning of wood under a microscope, allows one to identify the magnificent features of different types of cells present in the tissues. This is typically achieved by differential staining methods which include safranin, Astra-blue, etc. 6.6 Budget

- 01 Microtome USD 1200 (SBD 9830.76)
- 10 Augmenting lens USD 5 (SBD 41) Total SBD 410
- 03 AmScope M150C-I 40X-1000X Metal Optical Cordless LED Student Biological Compound Microscope USD 100 (SBD 819.23) Total SBD 1638.46
- 02 Wooden Slide Storage Box Biology Slide Holder 100 Slides USD10.79 (SBD 88.39) Total SBD 176.78

Subtotal SBD = 12,056

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CHAPTER SEVEN. Establishment of a tree nursery

7.1 Justification

In view of the critical situation of the logging industry ongoing in the Solomon Islands for decades it is imperative to train future professionals in the forestry field with sound theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in all the fields related to sustainable forest management. An area that has been underestimated and poorly implemented is the mass propagation of native and exotic commercial trees for reforestation in a nursery. This proposal intends to fill this gap being the main objective training and secondly it has a commercial purpose to supply the needs of farmers in Guadalcanal province with quality seedlings. The area for its location is already fixed and some works were previously done borrowing tools from other departments and utilizing recycled materials. We faced additional problems on the supply of seeds, organic soil and sand, lack of infrastructure for regular watering and vandalism. The forestry department still aims to set up a Small Scale Model Nursery at the FAFF that will be operative through the year, following a calendar of activities and under constant supervision.

7.2 Definition

A nursery is a place where seedlings are propagated, managed and grown to delivery size for definitive planting. To ensure a good planting programme, a good nursery stock is essential. Major causes of seedling mortality on-farm include the wrong size or poor health of the seedlings at the time of planting or poor health of the seedlings at the time of planting. Poor seedlings are likely to have slower growth, to be less able to compete with weeds or drought, and to be more liable to damage by insects and pests. Moreover in a poorly managed nursery, fewer seedlings will be raised from a given quantity of seed, and there will be considerable waste of money and time. After planting, the plants are immediately exposed to a harsh environment, exposed to damage from drought, grazing, fire and insects. The aim of good nursery management is to make available planting material of the highest possible quality for new development areas and replanting.

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Figure 1. General view of a community nursery. Source: Longman K. (1998)

7.3 Objectives

- To propagate commercial tree species like eucalyptus, teak, acacia and mahogany; and native species on endangered status such as Barringtonia asiatica, Calophyllum inophyllum, Casuarina equisetifolia, Terminalia catappa, Intsia bijuga, Inocarpus fagifer, Pandanus sp., Barringtonia racemosa and species of mangroves to supply the needs of farmers in Guadalcanal province.
- To assist practicals on silviculture and nursery management for undergraduate students.
- To assist research projects on silviculture and propagation of native tree species.

7.4 Characteristics


The size of the area will be large enough to accommodate any possible expansion of the nursery.


The nursery site will be easily accessible to facilitate nursery field operations and supervision. Access roads should be usable during all seasons of the year. We are proposing to build the nursery at 30m from the forestry department, adjacent to a creek with permanent waterflow. Qualities of a good site are nearness of road, suitable climate (neither shady nor exposed area), sufficient sunlight, good irrigation facilities, good soil condition and good transport facilities.


Deep, good-structured, easily pulverized soil is desirable. Avoid shallow soils with a hard sandstone band near the surface. A very sandy-structured soil should also be avoided because of poor moisture retention characteristics and faster leaching of plant nutrients. Soil containing too much clay has poor drainage characteristics and should not be considered in site selection. For filling of pots loamy soil, sand and compost can be used in 1:1:1 proportion. Sprouted cuttings, bulbs, corms or polythene bag grown plants can be transferred in earthen pots for further growth.

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Figure 2. Standard dimensions for seedlings beds. Source: Thoi H. and Thinh P. (2010).


The nursery design will vary according to the type of plants to be raised and topography of the land. The plan includes: - Fence or wall - Internal paths - Water tanks and distribution system - Seedbeds - Soil storage shelter - Working area - Compost-making area.


The nursery can be divided into several parts as described below:

(i) Astorage area is needed to store all materials required for a nursery such as dry soil, fertilisers, chemicals, rice-husk ash, humus and other materials.
(ii) Amaterial preparation area is needed for mixing soils and other materials.
(iii) Seedbeds are needed for seedling production and cover around 60% of the total area.
(iv) Irrigation areas are constructed using a soil embankment around the nursery site, providing easy access, controlled tidal water flushing, and easier transport of materials. It is recommended that a small ditch be dug to provide good drainage and irrigation.
(v) Shaded areas are needed to protect young saplings and seedlings from strong sunlight. The sapling area may also be covered by plastic shade cloth sheeting to protect saplings from heavy rain. Materials to make these structures are available locally – e.g. bamboo poles to support the roof. The roof should be at least 1.5 m above the ground to allow easy access while taking care of seedlings. The roof can be covered by a black mesh fabric or dry Nypa leaves.


The land must first be cleared of all rocks, stumps, trees and shrubs.

The ideal size of the bed is 0.8m to 1.2m wide. It should not be wider than 1.2m so that weeding, watering, checking and moving plants can be easily done from the two sides. The length of the bed is relatively less important, though 5m to 10m may be convenient for drainage purposes; it should not exceed 15 m, or access may become difficult. If possible, the beds should be oriented from east to west to provide better shade against the midday sun. Paths should be 50cm to 60cm wide to provide adequate working space (Munjunga et al. 2013). When the area for the beds has been levelled, protect the corners and the edges.

Compost preparation and idealized design of beds for seedlings growing in soil-mixed containers. Sources: Thoi H. and Thinh P. (2010) and Longman K. (1998).

Compost will be made in a pits of 2x1x1, which will produce enough compost for up to 8000 small polythene tubes. A desirable size of a compost pile for a no mechanized operation is 2.5m wide and 1.5m high.


Containers, nursery media, propagules, water, fertilizers, chemicals, electricity, tools, equipment, machineries and labor are the major input to nursery. Polybags are of low cost, while root trainers are user friendly, easy to handle and transport. The growth medium must be sufficiently firm to hold the seedling or propagules during rooting and supply food and water for the successful growth of young seedlings.

Soil is a common easily available and comparatively cheaper medium used in nurseries. Sand is generally used in mother bed and vegetative plant propagation media. Other media are peat soil, sphagnum mass, vermiculite, perlite, leaf mold, saw dust, grain husk and Coco peat. Among them vermiculite is mostly used for cuttings while sphagnum mass is used for air layering. Generally, availability of all mineral nutrients is affected by the pH of the growing medium. In growing media such as organic soils, maximum availability occurs between 5.5 and 6.5 pH. Other insumes are pesticides , fungicide (formaldehyde, methyl bromide, chloropicrin, vapam), herbicides and growth regulators. Tools commonly used are axes, crow bars, wheel barrows, boxes, plastic buckets, watering cans, wire cutters, digging forks, hammer, nails, hoes, hand pruning knives, budding knives, respiratory masks, sprayers, saws, scissors, secateurs, budding and grafting knives, budding and grafting tape, germination trays, khurpis, iron pan, spade, forks, etc. (Krishnan et al., 2014).

Management and production

A nursery calendar is a very essential tool in nursery planning. The date for sowing seeds can be calculated by counting backwards from the anticipated date of planting, taking into consideration the number of days needed for germination and further seedling development until the right stage for planting.

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Figure 3. Sequence of operations for container growing. Source: Hall (2003).

The number of plants required to be produced from a nursery can be calculated as below.

Number of plants required for the season = W Mortality in nursery = X Transportation/culling loss = Y Seedling required of buffer loss = Z

Total seedlings required to be produced from the nursery = W + X + Y + Z

In case of vegetative propagules, the success percentage also needs to be considered. Generally, it is assumed that the area of nursery should be 0.25% to 2.5% of the area to be planted or the area of nursery should be about 1 acre for every 30,000 seedlings. It also required daily supply of water at 200 l per 1000 seedlings.

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Figure 4. Example of a fortnightly Nursery Production Record. Source: Hall (2003)

7.5 Budget


Hall K. (2003) Manual on nursery practices, forestry department, Kingston, Jamaica, 77p.

Krishnan, P.R., Kalia, R.K., Tewari, J.C. and Roy, M.M. (2014) Plant Nursery Management and Plant Nursery Management: Principles and Practices, Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, 40pp.

Longman K. (1998) Tropical Trees: Propagation and Planting Manual volume3, Commonwealth Science Council, 190p.

Munjuga M., Gachuiri A., Ofori D., Mpanda M., Muriuki J., Jamnadass R., Mowo J. (2013). Nursery management, tree propagation and marketing: A training manual for smallholder farmers and nursery operators. Nairobi: World Agroforestry Centre.

Ratha Krishnan., Rajwant K., Tewari J. and Roy M. (2014). Plant Nursery Management: Principles and Practices. Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, 40 p.

Thoi H. and Thinh P. (2010) Mangrove Nursery Manual, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH, Management of Natural Resources in the Coastal Zone of Soc Trang Province, 47p.

CHAPTER EIGHT. Establishment of a herbarium

8.1 Justification

There are around 50,000–60,000 tree species in the tropical rain forests of the world (Turner 2001); the known plants in the Solomon Islands are mostly made up of 2763 species of angiosperms (dicots and monocots), 22 species of gymnosperms and 367 species of pteridophytes (true ferns and fern allies) (Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology 2011). Lesser-used species and lesser known timber species were previously less marketed or never marketed which often occur naturally in significant volumes. These species may be promoted as substitutes reducing pressure on common commercial species and making logging of natural forests attractive. Moreover, non-timber forest products (latex, oils, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, berries, foliage, pollarding, medicinal plants, peat, fuelwood, spices, and ornamental plants) are also vital sources of income, nutrition and sustenance for many forest-based communities around the world (Solomon 2016) together with the environmental services they provide such as soil and water conservation, habitats for wildlife and carbon sequestration. A value analysis of the Amazon rainforest found that the exploitation of NTFPs could yield higher net revenue per hectare than would timber harvest of the same area, while still conserving vital ecological services (Peters et al 1989). The compilation of a book on local dendrology will enhance the capabilities of FAFF staff and students and reinforce the contents of the unit on dendrology, which focus on the identification of economically useful woody plants and their taxonomic interrelationships, by providing a relevant local reference. This will contribute to expand and diversify the international trade in tropical timber and encourage national policies which aim at the sustainable use and conservation of tropical forests and their genetic resources.

Before making a survey of the forest resources of a tropical country, it is necessary to know the names of the species. Foresters need to know the names of the important trees with which they work. A local updated guide of native trees will be available to the public, policy makers, students and visitors increasing awareness on the conservation of tree species and their potential economic value. Dendrology (the identification and full description of trees and their habitats) is the foundation of forestry as a science and has practical application in forest management plans, reforestation projects, urban greening and rural development in general. The economy of the SI depends mostly on logging of the natural forests and of plantations with few exotic trees. The real value of most of the native trees is still poorly known.

8.2 Objectives

- Collect botanical samples of selected trees in the neighbourhoods of Honiara city including the botanical garden at Rove as part of the practicals for the unit on dendrology at the FAFF.
- Study and compile tree identification features of around 100 native and exotic tree species with assistance of the “Plant Information System‟ developed by the Ministry of Forests in 2017 (http://mofr.gov.sb).
- Compile notes on plant systematics, ecology, and traditional and industrial uses for the collected species.
- Implement an herbarium at the FAFF, SINU, that will be continually maintained and updated by staff and students.
- A database will progressively be elaborated at the FAFF which will include the list of tree samples collected, their identification and description, location, photos and drawings, notes on their ecology, silviculture, uses and importance. The samples will be preserved and added at a SNRAS herbarium.

8.3 Expected results of the project

A local updated guide of native trees will be available to the public, policy makers, students and visitors increasing awareness on the conservation of tree species and their potential economic value. Dendrology (the identification and full description of trees and their habitats) is the foundation of forestry as a science and has practical application in forest management plans, reforestation projects, urban greening and rural development in general. The economy of the SI depends heavily on logging of the natural forests and of plantations with few exotic trees. The real value of most of the native trees for both the industry and the ecosystem are still poorly known.

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Figure 1. Top: Views of a plant botanical sample properly preserved and identified. Below: General view of the workplace inside the herbarium.

8.4 Budget

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Total in SBD = 26, 082 (1 SBD = USD 0.12)



Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (2011) Fourth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Government of Solomon Islands, 81p.

Peters Ch. Alwyn G. Robert M. (1989). Valuation of an Amazonian rainforest, Nature 339 (6227): 655–656. doi:10.1038/339655a0.

Solomon M (2016). Importance of Non Timber Forest Production in Sustainable Forest Management and Its Implication on Carbon Storage and Biodiversity Conservation in Case of Ethiopia. J Biodivers Endanger Species 4:160. doi: 10.4172/2332-2543.1000160

Turner I. (2001). Introduction. In The Ecology of Trees in the Tropical Rain Forest (Cambridge Tropical Biology Series, pp. 1-14). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511542206.002.

CHAPTER NINE. Establishment of an Apiarium

By D. Lopez and W. Waroka

9.1 Background

Beekeeping is emerging as a very successful agricultural practice for local people in rural areas of less developed countries. Not only does the practice of beekeeping have intrinsic health benefits through providing a food source of great nutritional value which is lacking in rural areas, but beekeeping requires few inputs and capitalises on a ready supply of pollen. In rural areas there is almost an unlimited source of pollen and bees aid greatly in the natural cross pollination of local crops. Health benefits for local people reliant on small agriculture to provide food are centred around the enriching qualities of honey in a diet which is usually dependent upon staple foods such as fish, rice, roots, bananas and coconuts. There is major potential for grassroots poverty alleviation and empowerment of local people through the practice of beekeeping.

One beehive typically produces from 10-14kg of honey per year (Africa) to 22-25kg of honey (South Pacific) with few inputs required after establishment. One kg of honey sells for around SBD 100. Five hives can generate between 50 to 125kg of honey per year, meaning an annual income that goes between SBD5000 – 12,500. Solomon Island beekeepers call it their ‘honey money’. Therefore the investment will be recovered within two years’ time.

The beekeeping industry was first introduced to the Solomon Islands in the 1960s and reached its peak in the 1990s. A decade later there were over 500 beekeepers with over 2,000 beehives (www.leeming-consulting.com/) that produced around 75,000kg of honey. Other valuable products not yet processed in the country are bee wax, pollen, royal jelly, bee venom, and propolis for cosmetics and medicine (ARSD 2000 and Gezahegn 2001). However, the internal conflicts and the invasion of alien species led to the collapse of the beekeeping industry. Currently the government plans to recover this industry. The main challenges to for this plan are: 1) The lack of expertise on queen bees breeding; and 2) The prevalence of unskilled beekeepers; the effective management of varroa reduces colony losses on a large scale (Mullen 2019). Other challenges are droughts, financial problem, pests and predators, poor extension services, shortage of bee forage and high input costs (Haftu et al 1995).

Solomon Islands annual honey production evolution (ACIAR 2019)

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This project aims to establish six hives on the land of the SNRAS farm facility at Kukum campus - SINU. The students will also have a practical understanding of the positive impact of bees in the environment. Food security and the continuity of the ecosystems in the world are at risk with the ongoing extinction of bee colonies in the world (Phillips 2014); therefore embracing science in areas such as pollination will contribute to better-informed policy choices that will protect ecosystem services important for both food security and poverty eradication (Sekhran 2017).

This module of beehives and the initial training of 15 students per year will be used as a platform for the training and support of up to 30 local farmers who are interested in beekeeping per year. The major goals of this project are hence twofold: to provide a new stream of income for the work of the university and the provincial farmers, and to alleviate poverty through the training and support of local people in the practice of beekeeping. Full costing, project dynamics, key personnel and critical risks are detailed in this proposal.

9.2 Goals

- To establish five hives and train a core contingent of 15 students per year in the practice of beekeeping.
- To double the number of hives every year depending on the management.
- To establish apiculture as a new branch of science in the FAFF curricula.
- To train 30 local farmers to beekeeping per year in the province as a means of providing personal income and reducing local poverty with a targeted 40% adoption rate in the first year.
- To improvement the local health standards by replacing refined sugar with honeybee.
- To provide revenue for the university.
- To establish an innovative model of micro enterprise that can be replicated on other provinces.

9.3 Specific Objectives

1. To boost the number of bees
2. To enhance honey production per beehive
3. To test queen bee propagation techniques
4. On-station evaluation, selection and multiplication of selected local honeybees.
5. To rescue indigenous knowledge techniques that may enhance the local industry.

Honeybees vary among themselves in traits such as temperament, disease resistance, and productivity. The environment has a large effect on differences among honeybee colonies, but the genetic makeup of a colony can also impact the characteristics that define a particular group, therefore the breeding of different strains to suit a particular purpose: whether it is honeybee pollination, a honey crop, or bee production (Meixner et al 2013). Beekeeping management practices also vary from low to high intervention regarding the use of chemicals, hive manipulations, and supplemental feeding of colonies (Underwood et al 2019). Honey production and swarm size are correlated to the management skills of beekeepers (International Cooperation and Development Fund 2020). Indigenous knowledge may enable smallholders to carry out beekeeping activities at minimal cost, however it may also have an adverse impact on the quantity and quality of bee products (Lalika and Machungu 2008).

9.4 Evaluation and monitoring

Continuous reports taken every two months will be compiled to asses

- Financial benefits
- Social benefits
- Achievements against goals
- Monitoring of the critical risks associated with this project proposal include:
- Poor adoption rate of participants and wasted teaching resources
- Wasted bee products in initial raids due to inexperience
- Vandalism to hives
- Longer lag time in establishment and production

9.5 Budget

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The equipment suppliers will be: the SI Ministry of Agriculture and livestock, small business centers at Point Cruz, and local producers of honey bee boxes and other materials.

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Honey production in the Solomon Islands. Source: Schouten C, Lloyd D, Somerville D, Roberts J (2019).


ACIAR (2019) Novel Approaches for Increasing Participation in the Honeybee Industries of the Pacific, project LS/2017/100, 84p.

ARSD (2000) Apiculture Research Strategy Document, EARO, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Leeming International Consulting, Communication for Development, P.O. Box 652, Honiara, Solomon Islands (2020).

Gezahegn T. (2001) Apiculture Development Strategies. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Haftu K. Daniel D.Gebru B. Tsegay G.Guash A.Guesh G. Mulualem Z. Gebrekiros G. (2015) International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications 5(4).

International Cooperation and Development Fund, Taipei 11157, Taiwan.

Lalika M. and Machangu J. (2008) Beekeeping for income generation and coastal forest conservation in Tanzania, Bees for development journal 88.

Meixner M. Pinto M. Bouga M. Kryger P. Ivanova E. and Fuchs S. (2013) Standard methods for characterising subspecies and ecotypes of Apis mellifera, Journal of Apicultural Research, 52(4) 1–28.

Mullen E. (2019) Data-driven educational programming empowers beekeepers to effectively manage colony health, 46th APIMONDIA - International Apicultural Congress, Quebec, Canada.

Phillips, C. (2014) Following beekeeping: more-than-human practice in agrifood. – Journal of Rural Studies 36: 149-159.

Schouten C. Lloyd D. Somerville D. Roberts J. (2019) Novel Approaches for Increasing Participation in the Honeybee Industries of the Pacific, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.30865.58722

Underwood R. Brenna T. and López-Uribe M. (2019) Beekeeping Management Practices Are Associated with Operation Size and Beekeepers’ Philosophy towards in-Hive Chemicals, Insects 10(10) doi:10.3390.

Sekhran N. (2017) Communities can be role models for sustainable development, www.undp.org, UNDP.

CHAPTER TEN. The potential of mushroom farming in the Solomon Islands

10.1 Background

External drivers including population growth, declining agriculture and fisheries productivity and global food trade have contributed to greater reliance on imported foods. Globally, diets are recognized as both a cause of and solution to the burden of malnutrition and Solomon Islands is not an exception; even with the majority of households in the country classified as “food secure” with regular access to and consumption of fish and staple root crops, the dietary quality of women and young children remains poor; in fact, a study confirmed the prevalence of stunting among infants and young children and overweight and obesity among women in rural communities in the Solomon Islands (Albert et al 2020). Furthermore, the overall price for food increased by 53 percentage points from the last quarter of 2005 to the same period of 2010 especially for imported foods such as rice, flour and noodles, which have become staple foods in the diet of Solomon Islanders (Solomon Islands National Statistical Office 2011). Climate change, declining fallow periods along with logging activities adjacent to gardens have also resulted in increased garden pest issues and crops change; for example the formerly common orange-fleshed sweet potato has been replaced by other varieties due to low yields (Allen et al 2006). Mushrooms are a nutritious source of food that generates significant revenue for farmers around the world each year (Thongnaitam 2012) and have potential to contribute to improve nutrition and livelihoods in the Solomon Islands. Since it does not require access to land, mushroom cultivation is a viable and attractive activity for both rural farmers and peri-urban dwellers. Small-scale growing does not need significant capital investment, the substrate can be prepared from any clean agricultural waste, the cultivation can be done on any scale, and substrate materials are often free (see photos on mushroom growing on oil palm processed wastes that are dumped in the plantation in rows as fertilizer at GGPOL plantation, Guadalcanal Island). They fulfil a key function in nature, 90% of dead plants are made up of wood with cellulose and lignin, which makes them decay very slowly. Mushrooms produce an enzyme to decompose these substances faster and create nutrients for other plants and microorganisms, thus completing the natural forest growth cycle (Thongnaitam 2012). Over 70% of agricultural and forest products are discarded as waste. Mushrooms biosynthesise their own food from those crop residues and then re use that substrate as animal feed or fertilizer (Hina 2008).

Fungi are regarded as being the second largest group of organisms in the biosphere after the insects. The large majority of fungi (95%) are still unknown (Figure 1). More than 2,000 species from 31 genera are regarded as edible mushrooms, but only 100 of them are experimentally grown, 50 economically cultivated, and about 6 reached an industrial scale of production in several countries. Around 1,800 species have medicinal value to treat cancer, blood pressure, diabetes, hyper tension, heart disease and anaemia (Tripathi et al 2018), and only 30 species are considered to be poisonous (Miles and Chang 1997).

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Figure 1. Comparison of the percentage of known species from the estimated total species in the world of selected groups of organisms. Adapted from Hawksworth (1991).

Mushrooms provide many of the same nutritional benefits as vegetables, as well as attributes commonly found in meat, beans and grains (Tripathi et al 2018). They are a good source of vitamin B, C and D, including niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, and folate, and of minerals including potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper. They provide carbohydrates, a high content of protein (19 to 35%) but low in fat and fibre (Marshall and Nair 2009). Figure 2 shows the relative nutritional value of mushrooms compared to other food types. An average value of 18.5 was considered for mushrooms, which real index values range from 6 to 31. The algorithm considers thirty nutrient factors, like the relative portions of vitamins, sugar, saturated fat, and trans fats and the quality of the protein and fat (Nuval 2017) and produces a score from one to 100. Higher scores represent greater overall nutritional value.

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Figure 2. A comparison of the nutritional index (essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals) of different foods compared to mushrooms. Adapted from FAO (2004).

10.2 Conditions for mushroom farming

- A 22-25ᵒC temperature for spawn –run and 14-18ᵒC temperature range for crop production.
- A humidity level of 85-90%. A saturated atmosphere with moisture is ideal for its growth.
- Water should not be applied to the compost directly.
- The rooms used for spawn-run should have proper ventilation.
- The CO2 levels in the room should be below 0.15%, maintained by providing 4 to 6 air charges per hour.
- There should not be sudden temperature fluctuation in the rooms (Reddy 2018).

The process of mushroom farming involves compost preparation, spawn-run, casing and harvesting, The mushroom cultivator follows the path of the mushroom life cycle. Fruit bodies form only at the completion of the mushroom lifecycle and for most species, occur but for a few days, then disappear (figure 3).

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Figure 3. Mushrooms life cycle. Source: Zoller (2020).

Mushrooms grow in bursts known as flushes approximately every 7 to 10 days for a few weeks with yields falling over time. The first three flushes yield more than 70% of the total. The growing time will be dependent on type of mushroom and the growing conditions. Under average conditions 50 to 70kg of Pleurotus strain of mushroom (oyster mushroom) can be produced from 100kg of substrate, over a period of a few weeks, and with optimal conditions the yielded can rise to a 100kg (Warwick 2007).


Allen M.G., Bourke R.M., Evans B.R., Iramu E., et al. 2006. Solomon Islands Smallholder Agriculture Study – Volume 4, Provincial Reports. Australian Government – AusAID. 141 pp. Available online: http://www.ausaid.gov.au/Publications/Documents/solomon_study_ vol4.pdf.

Albert, J, Bogard, J, Siota, F, et al. Malnutrition in rural Solomon Islands: An analysis of the problem and its drivers. Matern Child Nutr. 2020; 16:e12921. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12921

Elaine Marshall and N. G. (Tan) Nair (2009)m ake money by growing mushrooms, FAO diversification booklet 7, 67p.

FAO. 2004. Wild edible fungi, a global overview of their use and importance to people, by E. Boa, Non-Wood Forest Products, No.17, Rome.

Hawksworth, D. L. 1991. The fungal dimension of biodiversity : magnitude , significance, and conservation. Mycological Research 95: 641-655.

Hina, P.R. (2008). Training Manual on Mushroom Cultivation Technology.

Marshall E, Nair N (2009) Make money by growing mushrooms, Diversification booklet number 7, 64p.

Miles, P. G. and S. T. Chang. 1986. Application of biotechnology in strain selection and development of edible mushrooms. ASEAN Food J. 2:3-10.

ONQI: The Science Behind The Scores". nuval.com. Archived from the original on 2017-07-22. Retrieved 2020-04-27.

Reddy J. (2018) Mushroom farming project report, cost and profit analysis, downloaded from https://www.agrifarming.in/mushroom-farming-project-report-cost-and-profit-analysis September 10 2020.

Warwick F. (2007) Mushroom growing, The Schumacher Centre for Technology and Development, Practical Action, Bourton on Dunsmore, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 9QZ, UK, downloaded from www.practicalaction.org on September 10, 2020.

Seema Tripathi, NK Mishra and BP Tripathi Comparative study on varietal variation on nutritional quality of mushroom, Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 2018; 7(1): 1896-1898.

Solomon Islands National Statistical Office. 2011. Honiara Consumer Price Index. Solomon Islands Government. 8 pp. Available online: http://www.spc.int/prism/country/sb/stats/Economic/CPI/Mar%202011%20CPI%20Bulletin.pdf.

Thongnaitham M. (2012) A guide to growing mushrooms organically for eco-friendly livelihoods, Freeland Foundation, first edition.

Zoller R. (2020) For the love of all things – mushrooms and fungi, downloaded from http://www.yellowelanor.com/ on September 10, 2020.

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I came to the Solomon Islands after being a decade in Papua New Guinea and in Fiji Islands. In contrast to their neighboring countries each province (a main island plus minor ones, reefs and atolls) is located several hours and even days away by boat. Some provinces advocate for more autonomy while the central government struggles to keep overall control. This was a staple content of the weekly news for decades. The country, in resemblance to its neighbors, has also amazing sites and resources, and a barely written history that shows the resilience of a population that bravely builds up the nation. I could come across with much interest to some of the last annual reports (1970s) of The Solomon lslands British Protectorate. Without doubt the British did an outstanding work on surveying resources both renewable and non-renewable on every major island; and on education and training of the local population for their involvement on the surging industries: ship building, cattle ranching, tannery, mining operations, fisheries, bakeries, tobacco processing, cocoa plantations, oil palm, coconut plantations and rice farming; the lasts backed with field research stations to improve management and productivity. Today many of those industries are gone; however, it is clear that the British understanding of the Melanesian way of economic development was shallow; they tried to re adapt in the South Pacific their experience from Africa and the Caribbean islands. Science and technology was already flourishing in the South Pacific, unnoticed to the western eyes as shown in chapter one. Today Solomon Islands cannot survive in isolation, the world is now well connected and opportunities are vast, commercial plantations of well-known exotic trees on degraded areas (mainly teak and eucalyptus) and of poorly known native trees, have a huge potential; due to the social arrangements most of them will have to be established as small woodlots (0.5-3ha) that can be managed by a household or by a group of them. The improvement of local livelihoods is a priority in the country and probably one of the best ways to trigger actions with positive impacts is the reevaluation of local food sources (roots and nuts), including the preservation of natural forests for the permanent supply of food, clean water, medicines, timber and fuel wood. Solomon Islands need to incorporate western ways of production alongside its own traditional ways, alike the Chinese principle of one country, two systems. To connect to that grand plan, what we can do at the university is to identify small scale projects with potential impact and prepare research proposals; because by solving our own problems nationals can proclaim with confidence their full independence.


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Elements of Bio-Resources Assessment in the Solomon Islands
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evolution, resources, pacific, islands, elements, bio-resources, assessment, solomon
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David Lopez Cornelio (Author), 2020, Elements of Bio-Resources Assessment in the Solomon Islands, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/933635


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