Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center


Research at the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center focuses on providing the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support and implement sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources occurring in Hawai'i and other Pacific island locations.

Spotlight on Research

Spotlight on Research

Learn more about how researchers are tracking how rare plants are responding to changing environmental conditions.

Plant Responses

Featured Scientist

Featured Scientist

PIERC Microbiologist Dr. Carter Atkinson is using new tools to detect emerging threats and rare species in Pacific Island ecosystems.

Atkinson Research


Date published: July 9, 2020

New Study Finds the Restoration of Forests with Active Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death Infections May Be Possible

Hilo, Hawaiʻi – For the first time, researchers have shown that native ʻōhiʻa seedlings can survive for at least a year in areas that have active mortality from Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, or ROD, a fungal disease that is devastating to this dominant and culturally important tree in Hawaiian forests. This information can be useful to land managers and homeowners as they prioritize conservation actions.

Date published: June 8, 2018

Keeping Track of "Caly"

Caly isn't likely to wonder off off, but with a remote camera and monitoring station online 24-hours a day, USGS and partners at the State of Hawai‘i Division of Forestry and Wildlife, University of Hawai‘i, and the USFWS can learn how an extremely rare plant is responding to changes in environmental conditions.


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Year Published: 2021

Population density, distribution, and trends of landbirds in the National Park of American Samoa, Ta‘ū and Tutuila Units (2011–2018)

The National Park of American Samoa (NPSA) was surveyed for landbirds from June through July, 2018. Surveys were conducted using point-transect distance sampling methods to estimate bird densities. This information provides the second datum in the time-series of landbird monitoring for long-term trends in landbird distribution, density, and...

Judge, Seth; Camp, Richard J.; Vaivai, Visa; Hart, Patrick J.

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Year Published: 2021

Automated telemetry reveals post-reintroduction exploratory behavior and movement patterns of an endangered corvid, ʻAlalā (Corvus hawaiiensis) in Hawaiʻi, USA

Continuous movement monitoring is a powerful tool for evaluating reintroduction techniques and assessing how well reintroduced animals are adjusting to the wild. However, to date, continuous monitoring has only occurred for large-bodied species capable of carrying heavy tracking devices. In this study we used an automated VHF radio...

Smetzer, Jennifer R; Greggor, Alison L; Paxton, Kristina L.; Masuda, Bryce M; Paxton, Eben H.

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Year Published: 2021

Understanding metrics of stress in the context of invasion history: The case of the brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis)

Invasive species can exert rapid depletion of resources after introduction and, in turn, affect their own population density. Additionally, management actions can have direct and indirect effects on demography. Physiological variables can predict demographic change but are often restricted to snapshots-in-time and delayed confirmation of changes...

Claunch, N; Moore, I.; Waye, H; Schoenle, L; Oakey, S; Reed, Robert; Romagosa, Christina