Botanical Diversity at Savura, a Lowland Rain Forest Site along the PABITRA Gateway Transect, Viti Levu, Fiji

Savura is one of the seven focal sites of the Pacific-Asia Biodiversity Transect (PABITRA) Gateway Transect in Fiji. The site is composed of tropical lowland rain forest located in southeastern Viti Levu and consists of two adjacent watershed reserves, the Savura Forest Reserve and the Vago Forest Reserve. A total of 560 indigenous species (52% endemic) of vascular plants is recorded for this focal site. Savura has been chosen for the establishment of a large permanent plot of 12 ha following the methods proposed by the Centre of Tropical Forest Science (CTFS). This involves the recording of name, diameter at breast height (DBH), and precise location of every tree with 1 cm or more DBH. A total of 5,494 individuals with a total basal area of 2,752 m2 was recorded in the first 6,000 m2 of this CTFS/PABITRA permanent plot. The Myristicaceae (species of the genus Myristica) was the dominant family in numbers of individuals (14.4%) and basal area (35.6%). Tree ferns (Cyatheaceae [8.2% of individuals, 14.6% basal area]) and the Clusiaceae (8.6% of individuals, 12.8% basal area) are other major components. After this initial census, subsequent censuses will be carried out every 5 yr and should give insights on spatial dynamics, recruitment and mortality, and long-term changes in populations of tree species.