By: Dick Watling
192 pages, 57 Col plates, 25 col maps, 4 tabs, 2 col figs
The coconut and the Fiji fan palm are by far the best known of Fiji's palms, but both may actually be old introductions to Fiji. This new book, the first ever published on the subject, describes the 31 species of palm that may be found growing wild in Fiji today; 25 of these are considered native and six are introduced. It is 25 little-known indigenous palms that are the core subject of this book as they form a distinctive and unique component of the natural heritage of the Fiji Islands. Fiji's palms are poorly known; indeed, two 'species' are not even scientifically described. They vary in size and form from the delicate 3-4 metre Balaka seemammii to the recently described Hydriastele boumae which is as tall as a coconut emerges from the forest canopy. What we know about these palms should give rise to serious concern. Indeed over half of Fiji's endemic palms are on hte world Red List of endangered plants and are officially categorized by the World Conservation Union as threatened with extinction. The plight of Fiji's palms is a micrcosm of the plight of Fiji's forests which are being butchered and burned, year in and year out, with hardly a mumur of public concern. Palms are a very appropriate conservation flagship for the Fiji islands and also provide a wonderful opportunity for some of the more academic interests of the vunerability of island floras and extinction processes. It is the author's hope that this book will contribute to a greater knowledge and awareness of Fiji's palms and Fiji's pressing forest and biodiversity conservation issues.
INTRODUCTION The Purpose of the Book, Scope, The Species Accounts , The Illustrations, The Distribution Maps; FIJI: THE COUNTRY, VEGETATION AND THE PALM FLORA Fiji, Fiji's Flora and Vegetation, Fiji's Palm Flora, Relationships, Diversity and Distribution, Dispersal, Conservation, The Forests & Forestry, Protected Areas, Conservation Threat Status of Fiji's Palms; FIJI'S PALMS: SPECIES ACCOUNTS Fiji's Indigenous Palms, Naturalised Palms in Fiji - Ancient Introductions, Naturalised Palms in Fiji - Recent Introductions; PROPAGATION AND CULTURE OF FIJI'S NATIVE PALMS by Dick Phillips; REFERENCES; GENERAL REFERENCE; IMPORTANT REFERENCES FOR FIJI; GLOSSARY; INDEX
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