This BioProvince (as defined by Armen Takhtajan) comprises hundreds of Pacific islands including the Fiji Islands (such as Viti Levu and Vanua Levu), Samoa Islands, Tonga Islands, Horn Islands, Rotuma Islands, Uvea Island and Niue Island. They have varied geologies. In the case of the larger Fiji islands a core of plutonic rocks possibly of Pre-Cambrian age is present overlain by lavabeds and agglomerates. Many of the other islands are volcanic. The eastern Fiji islands, for example, consist of andesites or tuffs. Other islands, such as some of the Tonga islands, are limestone. Eua, for example, has both Eocene and Miocene limestone but seems to be unique amongst Tonga’s limestone islands in having a core of volcanic rock. The climate is tropical with little seasonality in rainfall but some parts of islands lie within mountain rain shadow areas, and cyclones occasionally hit between January and April. The flora is very rich comprising one endemic family (Degeneriaceae), at least 15 endemic genera such as Amaroria (Simaroubaceae), Balaka, Goniocladus, Goniosperma, Taveunia (Arecaceae), Degeneria (Degeneriaceae), Gillespiea, Readea, Squamellaria, Sukunia (Rubiaceae), Hedstromia (Rubiaceae), Pelagodoxa (Arecaceae), Pimia (Sterculiaceae), and a high level of endemic species (over 70% of the flora). Much of the biota is derived from ancient Gondwanaland elements and includes one of the World’s most primitive flowering plant families (Degeneriaceae).
The following accounts for this BioProvince have been written or will be written with particular reference to endemic and locally important species. Accounts available are displayed in green or yellow. Those displayed in red are either in the pipeline or awaiting expert contributions.
|Endemic Vascular Plant Flora|
|Endemic Flora (Samoa)|
|Endemic Flora (Tonga Islands)|