| || || Rigamoto, Rejieli Ragafuata.|
| || || A floristic survey of the coastal littoral vegetation of Rotuma|
Author:Rigamoto, Rejieli Ragafuata.
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Littoral plants -- Fiji -- Rotuma Island , Seashore plants -- Fiji -- Rotuma Island
Call No.: pac QK 473 .F5 R45 2000
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: This thesis focuses on the coastal vegetation of the oceanic island of Rotuma in the Republic of the Fiji Islands. Oceanic islands are unique. Despite their large number, compared to continental areas, their floras are characteristically small. Although there is a great range in island types, including high volcanic islands, raised limestone islands and low-lying limestone islands and atolls, each has a high degree of geographical isolation and hence has biologically distinct and unique qualities (Fosberg, 1973a, 1973b). There are some, often many, endemic plant species found on most high volcanic islands. Also, there are many widespread island species, which vary somewhat from island to island. Fosberg (1955, 1973a), after many years of studying Pacific Island flora and vegetation, made the observation that variability within these widespread species is so high that there are as many or more isolated distinctive populations as there are islands on which they occur. Notable examples of these variable species include the widely distributed strand species such as Lepturus repem (Forst.f.) R.Br., Scaevola taccada (Gaertn.) R.Br. and Fimbristylis cymosa R.Br. Fosberg also observed that these species, because they occur ;.. in most, if not all, oceanic islands, are usually considered uninterestingly uniform but on i close study, they exhibit a high degree of polymorphism. Thus, it is difficult to find two ! 2 oceanic islands with the same complement of species, or with identical combinations of species locally. Oceanic islands are therefore, floristically unique, a quality which must be appreciated and protected so as to maintain their scientific (biological), cultural and aesthetic value.