The Laupahoehoe plot is located within the newly established Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forest in the Laupahoehoe Natural Area Reserve above the Big Island's Hamakua Coast. Rainfall averages 4000 mm of rain per year. The canopy is dominated by koa (Acacia koa) and ’ohi’a (Metrosideros polymorpha), with a well-developed subcanopy of tree ferns (Cibotium species). Sub-canopy tree species include the following commonly observed species: olapa (Cheirodendron trigynum ssp. trigynum), kawa’u (Ilex anomala), kolea (Myrsine lessertiana), and pilo (Coprosma rhynchocarpa).
The Hawaii Permanent Plot Network (HIPPNET) was initiated in 2007 by faculty and research ecologists at the University of Hawaii, US Forest Service, and UCLA to investigate forest dynamics across the island of Hawaii. Three 4-ha plots are currently being established, and an additional 1-2 plots will be started in 2008. Initial censuses for all plots are expected to be completed by 2009. Support for the project has been provided by NSF EPSCoR, US Forest Service, and the University of Hawaii.
Click here to view a recent article by Lawren Sack (UCLA) describing HIPPNET.