Andrew Powling
| Abstract views: 34 | PDF views: 17


POWLING, A. 2018. An assessment of present plant diversity on the Natewa Peninsula, Vanua Levu, Fiji. Reinwardtia 17(2): 125‒132. ‒‒ The Natewa Peninsula, part of the Fijian island of Vanua Levu, is naturally afforested but the forests have been extensively logged in the last 50 years. It is now planned to protect some of the forests from further logging by incorporating them into a National Park. A survey of plant species in the regenerating forests and surrounding land on the Peninsula was performed to assess the taxonomic and ecological diversity of the trees and shrubs, including figs and palms, and also the orchids presently to be found on the Peninsula. The degree of invasion by introduced plant species was also assessed. Of 67 tree and shrub species it was found that 17 were endemic to the Fijian islands, 40 others were indigenous and ten were introduced. The normal habitats of these species included dense, open and secondary forest, showing that trees with a range of ecological characteristics were still present. Endemic and indigenous species of both figs and palms were found, and also terrestrial and epiphytic orchids. No severe infestations of introduced species were observed. It is concluded that the forests of the Peninsula are of sufficient conservation value to justify National Park status. 


conservation, trees, Fiji, figs, orchids, palms.

Full Text:



ASH, J. 1992. Vegetation ecology of Fiji: past, present and future perspectives. Pacific Science 46: 111–127.

CERNANSKY, R. 2018. How to rebuild a forest. Nature 560: 542–544.

COOK, J. M. & RASPLUS, J. Y. 2003. Mutualists with attitude: coevolving fig wasps and figs. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18: 241–248.

ELLIOTT, S. D., BLAKESLEY, D. & HARDWICK, K. 2013. Restoring tropical rainforests: a practical guide. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

GALE, I. N. 1991. Hydrogeological Maps of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Mineral Resources Department, Suva. Maps reproduced in Watling, 2005.

GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF FIJI. 1965. Geological Map of Fiji, Suva, Fiji.

HARRISON, R. D. 2005. Figs and the diversity of tropical rainforests. BioScience 55: 1053–1064.

HEADS, M. 2006. Seed plants of Fiji: an ecological analysis. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 89: 407–431.

HODEL, D. R. 2010. A synopsis of the genus Balaka. Palms 54: 161–188.

IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) 2017. URL: (Accessed on 24/09/18).

KEPPEL, G. & GHAZANFAR, S. A. 2011. Trees of Fiji: A Guide to 100 Rainforest Trees. 3rd ed. Secretariat to the Pacific Community & Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Suva, Fiji.

KINNIARD, M. F., O’BRIEN, T. G. & SURYADI, S. 1999. The importance of figs to Sulawesi’s imperilled wildlife. Tropical Biodiversity 6: 5–18.

MABBERLEY, D. J. 2008. Mabberley’s Plant-Book. 3rd ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. UK.

NEALL, V. E. & TREWICK, S. A. 2008. The age and origin of the Pacific islands: a geological overview. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 363: 3293–3308.

RYAN, P. 2000. Fiji’s Natural Heritage. 2nd ed. Exisle Publishing, Auckland.

SMITH, A. C. 1979−1996. Flora Vitiensis Nova. A New Flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Volumes 1−6. National Tropical Botanic Garden, Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii.

VAN NOORT, S. & RASPLUS, J. Y. 2018. Figweb: figs and fig wasps of the world. URL: (Accessed on 04/07/18).

WATLING, D. 2005. Palms of the Fiji Islands. Environmental Consultants, Suva, Fiji.

WHITTEN, T., MUSTAFA, M. & HENDERSON, G. S. 2002. The Ecology of Sulawesi. Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd., Hong Kong.

Copyright (c) 2018 Research Center for Biology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)


  • There are currently no refbacks.