This page last revised 11 May 2009 -- S. Falzarano
TNC Action Sites
Maps & Figures
in mesic portions of the coastal system.
‘Ena‘ena (Pseudognaphalium sandwicensium) is a coastal aster clothed in dense white felt.
The Coastal System in Hawai‘i includes a variety of grasslands, shrublands and forests,such as this loulu palm forest on the top of Huelo Rock.
Relative to the other ecological systems of the ecoregion, the remnants of coastal vegetation are typically isolated and not contiguous with the remaining lowland systems. In prehuman times, there would have been a transition between the coastal vegetation and the adjacent lowland systems, differing in both composition and structure. Coastal vegetation is typically both salt-tolerant and affected by frequent wave disturbance. There are a number of natural communities described within this system, including a variety of grasslands, shrublands, and a few forests. Biological diversity is low to moderate in this system, but some specialized plants and animals occur there, such as nesting seabirds and the rare Hawaiian shrub, ‘ōhai (Sesbania tomentosa spp.)
More typically, coastal vegetation is low-statured, and tolerant of harsh, seaside conditions., such as this windblown strand at Kapapa, O‘ahu.
|The distribution of the Coastal System across the Hawaiian
Ecoregion is depicted below in red with native ecosystems in green.
The Coastal System on O'ahu has been largely displaced by development except along the least populated coastlines.
The Coastal System on Kaua'i still occurs along the roadless northwestern coast and along less frequented shorelines.
The Coastal System on Moloka'i has been reduced by human disturbance, weeds, and feral ungulates to the more remote and rugged northern shoreline, and portions of the west coast.
The Coastal System near Ni'ihau occures only on Lehua islet (north) and Kaula Rock (south).
The Coastal System on Kaho'olawe
The Coastal System on Hawai‘i Island occurs along several more remote coastlines of the island.
The Coastal System on Maui is very fragmented except for the remote north coast of West Maui.
The Coastal System on Lāna'i is heavily fragmented, and has been degraded by feral ungulates and weed invasions.
Statewide, the Coastal System