Climate-associated population declines reverse recovery and threaten future of an iconic high-elevation plant

Paul D. Krushelnycky, Lloyd L. Loope, Thomas W. Giambelluca, Forest Starr, Kim Starr, Donald R. Drake, Andrew D. Taylor, Robert H Robichaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although climate change is predicted to place mountain-top and other narrowly endemic species at severe risk of extinction, the ecological processes involved in such extinctions are still poorly resolved. In addition, much of this biodiversity loss will likely go unobserved, and therefore largely unappreciated. The Haleakalā silversword is restricted to a single volcano summit in Hawai'i, but is a highly charismatic giant rosette plant that is viewed by 1-2 million visitors annually. We link detailed local climate data to a lengthy demographic record, and combine both with a population-wide assessment of recent plant mortality and recruitment, to show that after decades of strong recovery following successful management, this iconic species has entered a period of substantial climate-associated decline. Mortality has been highest at the lower end of the distributional range, where most silverswords occur, and the strong association of annual population growth rates with patterns of precipitation suggests an increasing frequency of lethal water stress. Local climate data confirm trends toward warmer and drier conditions on the mountain, and signify a bleak outlook for silverswords if these trends continue. The silversword example foreshadows trouble for diversity in other biological hotspots, and illustrates how even well-protected and relatively abundant species may succumb to climate-induced stresses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)911-922
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Fingerprint

population decline
Recovery
Volcanoes
Biodiversity
climate
Climate change
extinction
mortality
mountain
Water
endemic species
water stress
hot spot
population growth
volcano
biodiversity
climate change
trend

Keywords

  • Alpine plants
  • Argyroxyphium sandwicense
  • Biodiversity loss
  • Climate change ecology
  • Hotspot
  • Population declines
  • Silversword

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Climate-associated population declines reverse recovery and threaten future of an iconic high-elevation plant. / Krushelnycky, Paul D.; Loope, Lloyd L.; Giambelluca, Thomas W.; Starr, Forest; Starr, Kim; Drake, Donald R.; Taylor, Andrew D.; Robichaux, Robert H.

In: Global Change Biology, Vol. 19, No. 3, 03.2013, p. 911-922.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Krushelnycky, PD, Loope, LL, Giambelluca, TW, Starr, F, Starr, K, Drake, DR, Taylor, AD & Robichaux, RH 2013, 'Climate-associated population declines reverse recovery and threaten future of an iconic high-elevation plant', Global Change Biology, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 911-922. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12111
Krushelnycky, Paul D. ; Loope, Lloyd L. ; Giambelluca, Thomas W. ; Starr, Forest ; Starr, Kim ; Drake, Donald R. ; Taylor, Andrew D. ; Robichaux, Robert H. / Climate-associated population declines reverse recovery and threaten future of an iconic high-elevation plant. In: Global Change Biology. 2013 ; Vol. 19, No. 3. pp. 911-922.
@article{5d62ce182acd4dce9938f5861ba0e2e2,
title = "Climate-associated population declines reverse recovery and threaten future of an iconic high-elevation plant",
abstract = "Although climate change is predicted to place mountain-top and other narrowly endemic species at severe risk of extinction, the ecological processes involved in such extinctions are still poorly resolved. In addition, much of this biodiversity loss will likely go unobserved, and therefore largely unappreciated. The Haleakalā silversword is restricted to a single volcano summit in Hawai'i, but is a highly charismatic giant rosette plant that is viewed by 1-2 million visitors annually. We link detailed local climate data to a lengthy demographic record, and combine both with a population-wide assessment of recent plant mortality and recruitment, to show that after decades of strong recovery following successful management, this iconic species has entered a period of substantial climate-associated decline. Mortality has been highest at the lower end of the distributional range, where most silverswords occur, and the strong association of annual population growth rates with patterns of precipitation suggests an increasing frequency of lethal water stress. Local climate data confirm trends toward warmer and drier conditions on the mountain, and signify a bleak outlook for silverswords if these trends continue. The silversword example foreshadows trouble for diversity in other biological hotspots, and illustrates how even well-protected and relatively abundant species may succumb to climate-induced stresses.",
keywords = "Alpine plants, Argyroxyphium sandwicense, Biodiversity loss, Climate change ecology, Hotspot, Population declines, Silversword",
author = "Krushelnycky, {Paul D.} and Loope, {Lloyd L.} and Giambelluca, {Thomas W.} and Forest Starr and Kim Starr and Drake, {Donald R.} and Taylor, {Andrew D.} and Robichaux, {Robert H}",
year = "2013",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1111/gcb.12111",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "19",
pages = "911--922",
journal = "Global Change Biology",
issn = "1354-1013",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Climate-associated population declines reverse recovery and threaten future of an iconic high-elevation plant

AU - Krushelnycky, Paul D.

AU - Loope, Lloyd L.

AU - Giambelluca, Thomas W.

AU - Starr, Forest

AU - Starr, Kim

AU - Drake, Donald R.

AU - Taylor, Andrew D.

AU - Robichaux, Robert H

PY - 2013/3

Y1 - 2013/3

N2 - Although climate change is predicted to place mountain-top and other narrowly endemic species at severe risk of extinction, the ecological processes involved in such extinctions are still poorly resolved. In addition, much of this biodiversity loss will likely go unobserved, and therefore largely unappreciated. The Haleakalā silversword is restricted to a single volcano summit in Hawai'i, but is a highly charismatic giant rosette plant that is viewed by 1-2 million visitors annually. We link detailed local climate data to a lengthy demographic record, and combine both with a population-wide assessment of recent plant mortality and recruitment, to show that after decades of strong recovery following successful management, this iconic species has entered a period of substantial climate-associated decline. Mortality has been highest at the lower end of the distributional range, where most silverswords occur, and the strong association of annual population growth rates with patterns of precipitation suggests an increasing frequency of lethal water stress. Local climate data confirm trends toward warmer and drier conditions on the mountain, and signify a bleak outlook for silverswords if these trends continue. The silversword example foreshadows trouble for diversity in other biological hotspots, and illustrates how even well-protected and relatively abundant species may succumb to climate-induced stresses.

AB - Although climate change is predicted to place mountain-top and other narrowly endemic species at severe risk of extinction, the ecological processes involved in such extinctions are still poorly resolved. In addition, much of this biodiversity loss will likely go unobserved, and therefore largely unappreciated. The Haleakalā silversword is restricted to a single volcano summit in Hawai'i, but is a highly charismatic giant rosette plant that is viewed by 1-2 million visitors annually. We link detailed local climate data to a lengthy demographic record, and combine both with a population-wide assessment of recent plant mortality and recruitment, to show that after decades of strong recovery following successful management, this iconic species has entered a period of substantial climate-associated decline. Mortality has been highest at the lower end of the distributional range, where most silverswords occur, and the strong association of annual population growth rates with patterns of precipitation suggests an increasing frequency of lethal water stress. Local climate data confirm trends toward warmer and drier conditions on the mountain, and signify a bleak outlook for silverswords if these trends continue. The silversword example foreshadows trouble for diversity in other biological hotspots, and illustrates how even well-protected and relatively abundant species may succumb to climate-induced stresses.

KW - Alpine plants

KW - Argyroxyphium sandwicense

KW - Biodiversity loss

KW - Climate change ecology

KW - Hotspot

KW - Population declines

KW - Silversword

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84873204501&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84873204501&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/gcb.12111

DO - 10.1111/gcb.12111

M3 - Article

VL - 19

SP - 911

EP - 922

JO - Global Change Biology

JF - Global Change Biology

SN - 1354-1013

IS - 3

ER -