Volcano Rare Plant Facility – FY 2007 Report

Objectives

A. Research: To develop protocols for propagation and production of endangered plant species.

B. Propagation of rare or endangered plant taxa to prevent extinction and maintain genetic diversity. This includes coordinating with different agencies for out planting species for habitat restoration.

Performance

A. Research: develop protocols for propagation and production of endangered plant species.

VRPF staff work with a large number of rare species and consistently receive taxa for which protocols for propagation or production are not yet established. Because these species are derived from many different habitat types, treatments have to be specifically tailored for each type. Research of this kind takes up a large portion of the staff’s time. Some aspects of this work include: developing germination treatments, studying phenology, and testing of pesticides to find the most effective and least toxic methods of control. The staff also had soils analyzed to aid in determining growth media and fertilizers that are appropriate for plants from diverse Big Island habitats.

B. Propagation of rare or endangered plant taxa to prevent extinction and maintain genetic diversity. This includes coordinating with different agencies for out planting species for habitat restoration.

In the past fiscal year VRPF received 160 new plant accessions. A total of 5045 plants representing 37 threatened or endangered species were produced for restoration projects on the Big Island. The species included: 50 Alphitonia ponderosa, 26 Anoectochilus sandvicensis, 3119 Argyroxiphium kauense, 288 Argyroxiphium sandwicense, 7 Caesalpinia kavaiensis, 105 Clermontia lindseyana, 1 Clermontia peleana, 83 Clermontia pyrularia, 2 Colubrina oppositifolia, 6 Cyanea platyphylla, 384 Cyanea shipmanii, 99 Cyanea stictophylla, 3 Cyrtandra giffardii, 86 Delissea undulata, 118 Fragaria chiloenis, 2 Haplostachys haplostachya, 11 Hedyotis cookiana, 30 Hibiscus brackenridgei, 33 Kokia drynarioides, 20 Melicope hawaiensis, 29 Ochrosia haleakalae, 162 Phyllostegia floribunda, 138 Phyllostegia racemosa, 3 Phyllostegia velutina, 57 Phyllostegia warshaueri, 3 Pittosperum hawaiiense, 12 Platydesma remyi, 15 Pleomele hawaiiensis, 6 Pritchardia affinis, 12 Pritchardia beccariana, 1 Pritchardia lanigera, 1 Pritchardia schattaueri, 9 Sesbania tomentosa, 83 Stenogyne cranwelliae, 21 Tetraplasandra kavaiensis, and 7 Vigna-o-wahuensis.

In addition to the threatened and endangered species the staff propagated 913 native plants for restoration projects. These include species that are new and unnamed, species that were previously listed, and many from areas like Puu Waawaa that are locally rare. The staff finds that these plants are necessary for building a healthy plant community to support our threatened and endangered species.

Additional Information

As a part of VRPF’s educational mission the staff hosted members of the following groups: Interpretation and cultural employees from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, staff from Hakalau Refuge, Vancouver Natural History Society, University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, Imi Pono Na Ka’Aina (teachers’ workshop), Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and the University of Colorado at Boulder.