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Global warming threatens rare Hawaiian flower

Haleakalā silverswords (ʻahinahina) in full bloom.NPS photo by Kit Harris

Haleakalā silverswords (ʻahinahina) in full bloom.
NPS photo by Kit Harris

‘The silversword example foreshadows trouble for diversity in other biological hotspots’

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — An all-out effort to protect a rare Hawaiian plan from extinction may not be enough in the face of climate change.

The Haleakalā silversword made a strong recovery from early 20th-century threats, but researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa say it has been hit hard by climate change, undergoing increasingly frequent and lethal water stress. Local climate data confirm trends towards warmer and drier conditions on the mountain, which the researchers warn will create a bleak outlook for the threatened silverswords if climate trends continue. Continue reading

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