CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING RESEARCH LAB (ARMY) CHAMPAIGN IL
Over the past 2 centuries, the island of Kahoolawe has suffered the ravages of war, slash-and-burn agriculture, and overgrazing. Today, much of the island is barren and severely eroded. A research project initiated in 1988 sought to identify effective, economical techniques to revegetate portions of the island. Treatments included drill seeding plus several rates of fertilization with monoammonium phosphate. Some treatments also included jute netting for soil moisture conservation and erosion control. The effect of windbreak fencing was evaluated across all treatments. Drill seeding plus broadcast application of at least 560 kg ha-1 fertilizer was the most cost-effective treatment. Jute netting and windbreak fencing significantly enhanced plant production, but the high cost of materials and maintenance limits their use to critical areas. The planted species with greatest promise for the windy, semiarid conditions on Kahoolawe were buffelgrass, bermudagrass, and weeping lovegrass. Although not included in the seed mixture, Australian saltbush, a naturalized species, responded favorably to fertilization. A subsequent, larger- scale revegetation project using a specially modified chisel plow seeder to scarify, plant, and apply in-furrow fertilization in a single-pass operation reduced the cost and improved the results of the revegetation process. Fertilization, Drill seeding, Jute netting, Windbreak fence.