From: David H. Lorence <>

Subject: Alien plants

Tuesday, December 02, 1997 10:37 AM

Regarding alien species which have the potential of becoming bad weeds on Pohnpei (and on tropical high islands in general)

Tim Flynn and I just finished updating our checklist of Pohnpei vascular plants just last week, incorporating observations and collections from our Sept. trip. We came up with a short list of some species alreadly seen growing on Pohnpei which have proven to be particularly bad weeds in Hawaii and elsewhere. Here they are:

Here are several more species of concern not yet seen in Pohnpei, but you should be on the lookout for them.

Of course, the list could be much, much longer. People have a natural tendency to introduce new plants, so the problem is ongoing and seems overwhelming at times. However, the government can help by not introducing species that have proven weedy on other tropical volcanic islands with similar habitats. Rapid elimination of small incipient weed populations, before they become widespread, is clearly the most effective means of control. And public awareness programs can be effective, but they must be ongoing and pervasive, not just one-time efforts.

lncidentally, there is a group here known as Hawaiian Ecosystems At Risk Working Group (HEARPWG). If you are interested in getting on board their email server, contact Philip Thomas:

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