Date of Award

Fall 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences



Committee Director

Timothy J. Motley

Committee Member

Kent Carpenter

Committee Member

Rebecca Bray

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.B46 P365 2012


Recent studies on the colonization time of Hawaiian plant and animal lineages have suggested certain lineages arrived to the archipelago before the formation of the extant islands. Kadua, a recently resurrected genus, is mostly endemic to the Hawaiian Archipelago, with many member taxa autochthonous to individual islands. This work investigates the colonization time of Kadua to the Hawaiian Islands. Sequence analyses of the quickly evolving nuclear regions ITS, ETS and 5s-NTS regions for 20 Hawaiian and 7 French Polynesian species of Kadua were used to create dated phylogeny calibrated with island ages. The phylogeny suggests a single colonization of Hawaii around nine million years ago, with a subsequent dispersal from Hawaii to French Polynesia Kadua appears to have colonized Hawaii after Gardner Island formed around fifteen million years ago. Gardner Island was the largest of the Hawaiian Islands before the extant islands began forming with Kaua'i, around five million years ago.


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