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Habitat Pictures

The Alofi underwater barrens are created by large storms and maintained by a large variety of grazers.

Small black needle urchins inside their sockets waiting for the night to emerge when they graze their gardens.

The coralline reef flats found mainly on the Alofi side of the island

Reef gleaning for sustenance is still widely practised. The coralline reef flats do not consist of corals but coralline algae, covered in a sum of brown-green slimy algae. Mysterious rock pools break the surface.

The Alofi terrace is frequently hit by hurricanes, low, salt-resistant shrubs survive.

On the hurricane side, tall trees are occasionally stripped, which selects for the most suitable types.

Where good soils are found, people strip the vegetation for cultivating taro crops. Here the fields are left fallow to recover.

A prosperous taro crop.

The author and Misa by a tall forest tree with buttress root stabilising it against hurricane winds.

Tall forest trees are still found in the Huvalu rain forest.

A prosperous taro crop.

Coconut palms grow all over the island but are promoted near settlements and on soils unsuitable for farming.

The coastal rain forest grows where jagged rocks prevent cultivation.

The coastal rain forest grows where jagged rocks prevent cultivation.

Pandanus mangrove trees are salt-resistant and thrive in the saltspray zone.

Salt spray from incessant large swell has created a moon landscape of very sharp jagged rocks with salt resistant vegetation.

A salt-resistant perennial weed grows where no other can.

The swell is thrown high skyward, causing copious amounts of salt spray (Anaana Point).

Underwater on the tradewind side extends a slope of healthy corals. The large giant clam seen here enjoys de-facto protection by the waves.