Southwest Pacific

Fires may be the result of natural phenomena such as lightning or they may be man-induced. Usually natural fires are an integral part of plant community development and influence such things as soil nutrient availability and biological diversity. In contrast, uncontrolled or wildfires disrupt such processes and can have a catastrophic impacts. The vast majority of wildfires are intentionally set and often occur in conifer forests. In recent years extended droughts, together with the rapidly expanding exploitation of tropical forests and the demand for the conversion of forests to other land uses, have resulted in a dramatic increase in wildfires. While some conifers have evolved to be fire dependent by having serotinous cones that open and release their seed in response to fire, their populations are so small or fragmented that even natural fires may be catastrophic. This is particularly evident in areas with a Mediterranean climate. It is the introduction of inappropriate fire regimes (frequency, severity, or seasonal timing) that can have the most severe impact.

Taxa in the category - Southwest Pacific:

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Acmopyle sahniana J.Buchholz & N.E.Gray

Endemic to Viti Levu, the largest island in the Republic of Fiji, where it is known from 5 localities with an estimated total population of about 200 individuals Read full species entry >

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Agathis lanceolata (Lindl. ex Sebert & Pancher) Warb.

One of four species of Agathis endemic to New Caledonia, where threats such as selective logging, fire and land clearance have caused serious fragmentation. Read full species entry >

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Agathis macrophylla Mast.

Native to the southwestern Pacific Ocean in  Fiji, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands where it is threatened by selective logging and deforestation. Read full species entry >

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Agathis montana de laub.

Endemic to the Mt. Panié range in northern New Caledonia where recent research has found that the decline and loss of old-growth trees is probably due to a combination of factors including root damage by feral pigs, pathogen attack and climate change. Read full species entry >

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Agathis moorei (Lindl.) Mast.

One of four Agathis species endemic to New Caledonia where it once had a widespread distribution on the mian island of Grande Terre but is now much reduced due to logging and landuse change. Read full species entry >

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Agathis ovata (Moore ex Veill.) Warb.

One of four Agathis species endemic to New Caledonia on the main island of Grande Terre where it has become endangered as a result of fire and mining Read full species entry >

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Agathis silbae de Laub.

Endemic to Vanuatu where, although it is not directly threatened, the population is small with perhaps less than 1000 mature individuals. Read full species entry >

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Araucaria bernieri J.Buchholz

One of 13 species of Araucaria endemic to New Caledonia where it occurs on the main island of Grande Terre. It has become much reduced due to logging but present-day threats include fire and mining activities. Read full species entry >

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