Abstract Detail

From High Islands to the Ocean Floor: Pacific Island Plants at the Extreme

Flores, Ana I. [1], Van De Verg, Scott [2].

From High Islands to the Ocean Floor: Pacific Island Plants at the Extreme.

Compared to their continental counterparts, Pacific island plants are known for their remote isolation and high endemism. This is largely due to the diverse array of habitats present on high volcanic islands in various archipelagos around the Pacific. Dubbed the Pacific Ring of Fire, it is a tumultuous region of the world where many eruptions and earthquakes occur as a direct result of plate tectonic activity. For example, the Hawaiian Islands are developed by the gradual northwest movement of the Pacific Plate over a hotspot in the Earth’s mantle, creating harsh survival conditions for plants on these volcanic islands. Now, climate change is exacerbating imperiled plants and plant communities in the region through increased drought conditions, hurricane frequency, tidal fluctuations, and wave energy. Numerous studies have also highlighted biotic threats to island plants including invasive species, which are believed to be aggressive competitors, and introduced herbivores and pathogens. In the Pacific, researchers work to understand how these factors affect ecological processes and ecosystem function, and how to mitigate present and future threats to these hyperdiverse microhabitats. The combined effects of insularity, distance from continents, differences in temperature, precipitation regimes, and elevation gradients have led to diversification of many lineages and high rates of endemism on islands. Currently, island plants represent an estimated 20% of the world’s biodiversity, but over 50% of its endangered species. With this symposium, we aim to showcase diverse, interdisciplinary research that focuses on the plants that survive in these extreme island environments, done by scientists that live on or are from the islands they are researching. Talks will feature a selection of early-career and distinguished scientists from around the Pacific, including researchers from remote archipelagos and isolated islands. They will cover alpine habitats, forests, coastlines, and oceanic communities, in an effort to capture a glimpse into the harsh realities of plant life on islands in the extremes.

1 - 3087 Puhala Rise, Honolulu, HI, 96822, USA
2 - 1239 Kupau St, Kailua, HI, 96734, United States

none specified

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Number: S6SUM
Abstract ID:1248
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright © 2000-2022, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved