Indigenous agroforestry of Pohnpei: 2. Spatial and successional vegetation patterns

TitleIndigenous agroforestry of Pohnpei: 2. Spatial and successional vegetation patterns
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsRaynor, WC, Fownes, JH
JournalAgroforestry Systems
Date PublishedNovember 1991
Keywordsagroforestry; low-input agriculture; Micronesia; Pacific islands; spatial pattern; succession; traditional agriculture

A vegetation survey of 54 randomly-selected Pohnpeian land holdings quantified agroforest vegetation patterns in terms of horizontal distribution in the landscape and changes over time. Spatial distribution of species, expressed as distance from the main household, varied greatly with successional stages to produce the characteristic pattern of the Pohnpeian agroforest. Food crops, bananas, and Piper methysticum were planted around the house compound first, then gradually planted further away over time. Upland forest and secondary successional trees were removed by girdling, and gradually replaced by annual and perennial crops and breadfruit and other trees. A fallow or reduced management stage was discerned, characterized by low densities of early successional crops and higher densities of weedy secondary successional species; this stage resulted from a reduction in management intensity, mainly due to a variety of socioeconomic factors. Although the indigenous Pohnpeian agroforestry system is permanent and thought to be sustainable, it is dynamic in space and time.

Journal Abbreviation

Agroforest Syst


0167-4366; 1572-9680

Short TitleIndigenous agroforestry of Pohnpei