Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Climate Change and Global Sustainability

First Advisor

Jill Welter


Hawaiʻi is the most isolated island chain in the world, which has an abundance of flora and fauna in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Due to its novelty, many of Hawaii’s ecosystems are sensitive to environmental change and species endemic to the islands are especially vulnerable to introduced species. In Kaneʻohe Bay, located on the east coast of Oʻahu, botanists introduced Kappaphycus alvarezii and K. striatum for cultivation in the 1970’s, and since then more invasive seaweeds have been introduced and spread throughout the bay. These introduced seaweeds smother corals and outcompeted native seaweed (locally called limu), dominating many coastal ecosystems. During the study, water quality data was collected, and a literature analysis was performed in order to provide potential best practices to restore native limu to Kaneʻohe Bay. Informal interviews with native community members were also conducted to gather cultural knowledge and methods. Results showed that the native Gracilaria parvispora will likely be able to be cultivated at most of the sites where data was gathered and that the water quality parameters in the bay fall within the ranges of successful limu literature growth obtained from the literature. Ocean broadcasting and floating cage methods seem likely to be the most successful for restoring native limu. Restoring native limu in Kaneʻohe Bay is important for mitigating some climate change impacts by providing native marine life with preferred food and habitat, reducing local effects of ocean acidification and anoxia, and storing carbon. Further research is needed to determine nutrient requirements for native limu and which species to plant in other areas of the bay and elsewhere in Oʻahu.


Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Biology | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Environmental Sciences | Marine Biology | Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology


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