Future changes in rainfall and temperature will affect the habitat distribution of plant species in Hawaiʻi Volcanos National Park and Hawaiʻi generally. Our forecasts suggest that many Special Ecological Areas will experience declines in native species richness due to changes in climate, although it may be possible to change the boundaries of the Special Ecological Areas as species and communities move in response to changing conditions. Predicting habitat shifts due to climate change will allow for the development of adaptive management plans to better protect important plant species and communities, both within Hawaiʻi Volcanos National Park and in the surrounding areas.
This research feature was produced by the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center.
Featured photo by Forest and Kim Starr/ CC BY 3.0.