Endemic to Hawaii: the Waianae Mountains of Oahu, and the island of Lanai. This taxon has not been seen on Lanai since the 1920's. On Oahu, the taxon has declined in the past few decades. Only 2 occurrences are known to be extant, with a total of fewer than 100 plants. The taxon is threatened by feral pigs and goats, scale insects, and alien plants.
Threats to T. lepidotum subsp. lepidotum include competition from alien plants (Schinus terebinthifolius [Christmas berry], Erigeron karvinskianus [daisy fleabane], Myrica faya [firetree], and Melinus minutiflora [molasses grass]), habitat degradation and
Number of Populations: 3 (USFWS 2002)
Number of Plants: ca. 15 (USFWS 2002)
The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii (TNCH) has outplanted three individuals in a fenced exclosure within Honouliuli Preserve. Since then, all of those individuals have died although two T. lepidotum subsp. lepidotum has sprouted near the exclosure. In 1997, one of those plants flowered. The National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) has also propagated this species (USFWS 1998).
The seeds of T. lepidotum subsp. lepidotum have been tested by NTBG, finding that they are orthodox and can tolerate freezing. The laboratory germination time was two months (Yoshinaga 2002)
NTBG currently has ex situ holdings of seeds in its seed bank, which represent two out of the three populations. In addition, there are 12 plants growing in the nursery of NTBG that represent a population on the Oahu, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii (TNCH) Puu Kaua, Honouliuli preserve.
1. Construction of enclosures or barrier fences to protect populations of T. lepidotum subsp. lepidotum from feral ungulates. Removal of feral ungulates will also help in restoration of the native ecosystem.
2. Control of alien plant species within the enclosures that have only a few individuals is a necessity (Kuma Kakii and Waianae Kai Forest Reserve).
3. Provide protection from fires by coordinating a fire protection plan for endangered plant species on State forest reserves and private lands.
4. Conduct pollination biology, seed dispersal mechanisms, and molecular phylogenic studies on T. lepidotum subsp. lepidotum.
5. Map genetic diversity in the surviving populations.
Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin, M. Maunder, and USFWS (1998).
1. Establish secure ex situ stocks with full founder representation.
2. Develop proper horticultural protocols and pest management for T. lepidotum subsp. lepidotum.
3. Survey ex situ holding and conduct molecular fingerprinting on T. lepidotum subsp. lepidotum.
Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin and M. Maunder.
Be the first to post an update!