Tropical Gardening: Hawaii Island cloud forests are threatened

Over 100 rare endemic Pritchardia (Loulu) palms are found growing at Kona cloud forest sanctuary. (Courtesy Photo/Voltaire Moise)

Cloud forests, like the Kona Cloud Forest on the west side of Hawaii Island, are in jeopardy. Global warming is one culprit, and another is land clearing for development by landowners unaware of the impact forest destruction has on the eco-system and water-supplying aquifers. Trees produce oxygen, they supply shade, and sequester carbon that would contribute to global warming.