THE SAMOAN RAINFOREST
A guide to the vegetation of the Samoan Archipelago
W. Arthur Whistler, Ph.D.
The Samoan archipelago is
divided politically into a western portion known as Samoa (formerly known as
Western Samoa) and an eastern portion known as American Samoa.
These volcanic islands in the heart of Polynesia were once almost
entirely covered with a mantle of tropical rainforest, but after over 3000 years
of human occupation, much of the native vegetation has been removed and that
which remains is gravely threatened by a growing population, an unrelenting
timber industry, and recurring hurricanes.
The Samoan Rainforest is a study of the plant cover of these
islands, based on the author's work in Samoa that spans three decades.
Based upon structure and species present, the vegetation of the
archipelago is divided into several ˇ°plant communities,ˇ± such as littoral
strand, marshes, mangroves, freshwater swamps, lowland rainforest, montane
rainforest, cloud forest, summit scrub, montane scrub, volcanic scrub, and
several types of disturbed vegetation, which are discussed in detail in the text
and richly illustrated with 130 color photos.
addition to the discussion of the plant communities present, there is an
introductory chapter on the flora, botanical history, and classification of
Samoa plants; one on characteristics of tropical rainforests; and a concluding
chapter on the past, present, and future of the native vegetation.
The book is aimed at high school and college students, teachers, and
researchers who are doing or wish to do work in Samoan forests.
Color Photos: 130
Size: 7 x 10 inches
Binding: soft bound
Publisher: Isle Botanica
Publication Date: 2002