Eastern Polynesia, comprising five great archipelagoes, the Cook, Austral, Society, Tuamotu (including the Gambier and Pitcairn groups), and Marquesas Islands, plus remote Easter and Sala y Gomez Islands, stretches over a vast range of tropical and subtropical ocean (Fig. 8.1; for Cook Islands, see Fig. 7.1, p. 342). In size, the islands range from tiny Marotiri, a group of elevated rocks, the smallest of them only a few square meters in extent (the most southeastern of the Austral Islands), to Tahiti, the largest and highest, 1042 km2 in area and 2241 m in height. In latitude, the range is from the northern islands of the Marquesas, south of the equator (from about 7° S latitude) to subtropical Rapa and Easter Island (about 27° S). Topographically, the range is from almost perfectly flat atolls to the spirelike peaks of Rapa, Moorea, and Bora Bora and the towering wedge of Orofena in Tahiti.
KeywordsCloud Forest Chapter VIII Cook Island Society Island Montane Rain Forest
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