Can one of Hawai‘i’s most iconic and spectacular endangered plants, the Haleakalā silversword, adapt to climate change? This project examines patterns and causes of recent population declines in the Haleakalā silversword associated with observed climate changes in Hawai‘i’s high-elevation ecosystems. The silversword forms the foundation of a diverse alpine community and its decline likely reflects wider ecological changes. Building on extensive research of this species and climate change trends on Haleakalā, this project makes future population projections under different climate scenarios. Seedling drought tolerance experiments will help clarify causes of widespread mortality and inform restoration strategies.
Krushelnycky, Starr, Starr, Longman, Frazier, Loope, and Giambelluca 2016 | Change in trade wind inversion frequency implicated in the decline of an alpine plant | Climate Change Response | DOI: 10.1186/s40665-016-0015-2
Krushelnycky, Loope, Giambelluca, Starr, Starr, Drake, Taylor, and Robichaux 2013 | Climate-associated population declines reverse recovery and threaten future of an iconic high-elevation plant | Global Change Biology | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12111