Botanical studies along mountain-to-sea transects are a key component of the Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect (PABITRA) project. For the Fiji PABITRA Wet-Zone Transect, it is suggested that four basic categories of biodiversity data (species inventory, plant community description, ecological data on the species and community level, and long-term monitoring) be collected within the seven biodiversity study sites (Mt. Tomaniivi/Wabu, Monasavu, Sovi Basin, Waisoi, Waibau, Savura, and Nasoata/Valolo Islands) covering an elevational gradient from sea level to 1,300 m. Currently, Sovi and Waibau are without data, except for vegetation descriptions based on aerial photographs. However, data from baseline surveys is now available for Sovi. Most of the data available on Mt. Tomaniivi/Wabu and Savura are extrapolated from collections and studies in adjacent areas, but in both areas data collection has recently begun. Only Waisoi and Nasoata/Valolo have species checklists and descriptions of the various plant communities, with ecological studies having been conducted only in the former. Because basic data (species lists, plant communities) are lacking in many areas, obtaining such data is a primary objective of PABITRA in Fiji. Other issues that should be considered are inclusion of other sites in the network of focal sites and a standardized way of data entry and basic data analysis.
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Vol. 59 • No. 2