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Global warming may have severe consequences for rare Haleakalā silverswords
Date:1/15/2013

ct this very special plant from local disturbance from humans and introduced species, we now fear that these actions alone may be insufficient to secure this plant's future. No part of our planet is immune from the impacts of climate change."

The Haleakalā silversword (Argyroxyphium sandwicense macrocephalum) grows only on a single volcano summit in Hawaiʻi, yet it is viewed by 1 million visitors annually at Haleakalā National Park. Although the decline and extinction of other rare species with small ranges (and the accompanying loss of biodiversity) can easily go unobserved and unappreciated, the silversword's high profile makes it a good example with which to educate the public about global climate change.

Krushelnycky co-authored the paper along with Lloyd Loope, scientist emeritus with the U.S. Geological Survey, and others at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, and University of Arizona. They explain that although climate change is predicted to place mountaintop and other narrowly endemic species such as the silversword at severe risk of extinction, the ecological processes involved in such extinctions are still poorly understood, and they are hoping to increase this understanding.


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Contact: Paul Krushelnycky
pauldk@hawaii.edu
808-344-9746
United States Geological Survey
Source:Eurekalert  

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