* Aloha Kakou I've made an update to our website by adding THIS page, considering the current distress on Maui. While Maui grieves and aid is being administered. Us unaffected can do some forward thinking. Let's unite as a plant community and make a difference! The primary objective is to swiftly EDUCATE the public about concept of Seed Banks, provide planting and harvesting info, and help build a stock pile of native seeds for replanting Maui and the entire west/leeward regions of Hawaii. If you have native plants in your yard, please continue to maintain and harvest seeds. If you're unable to store, feel free to reach out and we'll find the nearest KUE Seed Bank near you. Me kealoha no Maui. Ku paa ma hope o ka aina. ~ Aunty Tris A'o Koke Obviously, ANY organic matter is flammable and will burn. However, a 'tool' in taking preventative measures is planting native groundcovers. Invasive, dry dead grass can easily ignite by the most minuscule spark. By having a layer of greenery will help retain moisture even during drought, minimizing the chance of fire. 80% of Wildfires are started by HUMANS. Let's make better decisions and be responsible.
What is a Seed Bank? Common purposes of seed banks entail storage in a facility for the purpose of genetic preservation and prevent a species from becoming extinct; or a stock pile for a "rainy day".
What is a LIVING SEED BANK? Living Seed Banks takes a different approach. Instead of storing seeds in a facility, living seed banks are active living regenerative plant populations that serve as a seed source for future restoration.
BENEFITS OF A SEED BANK 1. Drought-Resistant Native Species: A native seed bank would store seeds of native plants that are adapted to Hawaii's climate. Many native plants have evolved to best suit their environment, including periods of drought. By reintroducing these drought-resistant native species into degraded areas, the seed bank could help restore vegetation that can withstand water scarcity.
2. Erosion Control and Soil Stabilization: Native plants' root systems are often well-suited for preventing soil erosion, which can be exacerbated during drought conditions. Planting native species from a seed bank on vulnerable slopes and areas prone to erosion can help stabilize soil, preventing runoff and soil loss.
3. Biodiversity and Habitat Restoration: Seed banks can contribute to the restoration of diverse habitats. By replanting native species, the seed bank supports the recovery of ecosystems that provide important habitats for wildlife. This increased biodiversity can enhance ecosystem resilience to drought and fires.
4. Reduced Invasive Species: Invasive plant species can intensify drought conditions and increase fire risk. By reintroducing native species through the seed bank, the competition with invasive species can be heightened, reducing their dominance and helping to restore balanced ecosystems.
5. Firebreak Planting: Certain native plants can serve as effective firebreaks due to their fire-resistant properties. Incorporating these species in strategic areas can help create natural barriers that slow downor limit the spread of wildfires. This is a "tool in the toolbox", it is not a "plant, k pau-we good". Combining a seed bank with responsible human actions can aid in wildfire prevention.
6. Education and Outreach: This can lead to increased community involvement in conservation efforts and a more informed approach to fire prevention.
7. Long-Term Preservation: Seed banks store seeds for the long term, ensuring that native plant genetic diversity is preserved even during periods of environmental stress. This genetic diversity can be tapped into for future restoration efforts.
As you can see there are MANY benefits to restoring native vegetation, enhancing ecosystem resilience, and engaging in community education, the 'seed bank' system can play a vital role in protecting Hawaii's ecosystems from the challenges posed by drought, erosion and wildfires.
Here's a list of native Hawaiian plants that can be considered for the restoration of At-Risk for Wildfire aina. This is a GENERAL LIST(we will add to the list):
1. ʻAʻaliʻi (Dodonea viscosa) Drought-resistant shrub with small yellow-green leaves, used for erosion control.
2. Aweoweo (Chenopodium oahuense) Groundcover with silver-green leaves, helps stabilize soil and prevent erosion.
3. ʻĀkia (Wikstroemia uva-ursi) Low-growing shrub with yellow flowers, aids in controlling soil erosion.
4. 'Ōhiʻa Lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) Iconic Hawaiian tree, helps stabilize soil on slopes.**
5. Pōhuehue (Ipomoea pes-caprae) Beach morning glory, useful for dune stabilization in coastal areas.
6. Pōhinahina (Vitex rotundifolia) Coastal groundcover, aids in stabilizing sand dunes.
7. Wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) Drought-tolerant tree with unique orange flowers, suitable for arid regions.
8. Ilima papa (Sida fallax) Low-growing shrub with yellow flowers, useful for stabilizing soil.
9. Pua Kala (Argemone glauca) Drought-resistant thorny shrub, important for habitat restoration.
11. Naio (Myoporum sandwicense)Fast Growing shrub, will remain vibrant in xeric or drought tolerant conditions.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: ** DO NOT TRANSFER OHIA LEHUA TREES, SEEDS, or CUTTINGS BETWEEN ISLANDS! ** ** TO MAINTAIN THE INTEGRITY OF NATIVE DNA, SEED BANKS MUST SERVE THE ISLAND ITS ON ONLY ** ** WE DO NOT WANT TO STRESS TO AN ALREADY FRAGILE ECOSYSTEM, DO NOT HARVEST FROM THE WILD **