Albizia as a solution for climate change mitigation and sustainable agriculture

A woodchipper has produced a pile of shredded wood, with a curious horse looking on.
Albizia trees are considered invasive and dangerous in Hawai‘i, but they represent a ready source of nitrogen-rich mulch.

This project will investigate the potential benefits of composted albizia (Falcataria moluccana) mulch applied to agricultural land in East Hawai‘i Island. The biomass from this fast-growing, nitrogen-fixing tree contains a large amount of carbon and nitrogen. A management approach that takes unwanted biomass from albizia trees and applies it to cropland could yield a net environmental and/or economic benefit compared with status quo farming practices, while stimulating albizia removal efforts. If this approach is found to be economically viable, climate change mitigation and/or resilience could be a byproduct of agricultural activities.

Project Collaborators

Primary Contact and Masters Graduate Student

  • Joanna Norton (

Faculty Advisor

  • Rebecca Ostertag, Associate Professor of Biology, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo

Committee Members

  • Bruce Mathews , Professor of Soil Science, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
  • Flint Hughes, Ecosystem Ecologist, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, US Forest Service


  • Springer Kaye, Big Island Invasive Species Committee




Rebecca Ostertag
Professor of Biology, UH Hilo


Joanna Norton
Tropical Conservation Biology & Environmental Science
UH Hilo

Bruce Mathews
Professor of Soil Science
UH Hilo

Flint Hughes
Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry
US Forest Service

Springer Kaye
Big Island Invasive Species Committee