Effects of changing climate on the Haleakalā Silversword, a rare Hawaiian plant


  • SilverswordsHaleakalā silversword is a culturally and ecologically important plant that exists only on Haleakalā volcano and is currently experiencing population decline related to changing climate patterns, specifically lower rainfall.
  • This project developed population predictions based on long-term plant censuses and data from climate monitoring stations on Haleakalā. The results suggest that this species is likely to disappear from most of its range in the next 100 years if current weather and population trends continue.
  • It may be valuable to continue efforts to greenhouse raise plants and outplant them to areas with slightly wetter conditions, including parts of the silverswords’ P. D. Krushelnycky, 2014 historical range where plants do not currently exist.

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 Project page and data on ScienceBase

This research feature was produced by the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center.

Related Publications

P. D. Krushelnycky, 2014 | Evaluating the Interacting Influences of Pollination, Seed Predation, Invasive Species and Isolation on Reproductive Success in a Threatened Alpine Plant | PLOS ONEhttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0088948

P. D. Krushelnycky, F. Starr, K. Starr, R. J. Longman, A. G. Frazier, L. L. Loope, and T. W. Giambelluca, 2016 | Change in trade wind inversion frequency implicated in the decline of an alpine plant | Climate Change ResponseDOI: 10.1186/s40665-016-0015-2

P. D. Krushelnycky, L. L. Loope, T. W. Giambelluca, F. Starr, K. Starr, D. R. Drake, A. D. Taylor, and R. H. 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

 Climate Change Effects in Hawaiian High Elevation Ecosystems | Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative

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