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Abstract Detail

The Contribution of Regional Flora Projects to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation

Wagner, Warren [1], Lorence, David H [2].

Assessing and tracking the Flora of the Hawaiian Islands over four decades.

The Hawaiian Islands holds one of the most highly at-risk floras and there is an urgent need for best and current information to be available for research and conservation monitoring and recovery. Projects to summarize plant biodiversity are an attempt to describe, compile, and manage numerous types of species data, each of which must be accurate and can change with new information. A book flora is a snapshot of knowledge but takes a significant amount of time (often decades) to develop as numerous steps are involved. Because the information begins to go out of date as soon as published, there is a continuous need for updates. An assessment of candidate rare plants from USFWS endangered species program (1985) listed 748 taxa based on a 1975 study by Fosberg & Herbst. Many species concepts were not based upon sound biological principles, impeding the conservation programs. By 1980 it had been a century since Hillebrand’s flora for Hawaiian Islands. He recognized 705 native and 139 naturalized species. Over time additional publications were made and new estimates on the flora ranged from 2,322 native and 326 naturalized species to >20,000 native species. In the 1980s, work began to develop a new Flora of Hawaii, providing a foundational baseline for modern classification and information on vascular plants, but also to incorporate new field work and research information into overall data. The work was based on a collaborative program involving resident botanists, >50 collaborators and 100,000 herbarium collections. Publication of the new flora by Wagner Herbst, & Sohmer 1990, 1999 with a uniform and more viable species delimitation along with conservation assessment resulted in 423 (38%) species considered to be extinct or threatened to some degree. The flora was reprinted with a supplement providing new species, revised classifications, and updated conservation assessment, and thereafter the flora was presented as a webflora where periodic updates and published supplements detail changes in taxonomy and conservation status and bibliography. New data synthesis for refined understanding of species, continued exploration, description, conservation assessments and new and expanding threats to indigenous plants are continuously developing scattered in disparate places, but with periodic updates on the Hawaiian webflora and supplements researchers and conservationist locally and worldwide have access to current classification and related information and the sources for it.

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Related Links:
Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Flora of the Marquesas Islands

1 - Smithsonian Institution, Department Of Botany, MRC-166, P. O. Box 37012, Washington, DC, 20013, United States
2 - National Tropical Botanical Garden, Science and Conservation, 3530 Papalina Road, Kalaheo, HI, 96741, United States

Hawaiian Islands
 conservation assessment

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: C10, The Contribution of Regional Flora Projects to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation
Location: /
Date: Friday, July 23rd, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM(EDT)
Number: C10012
Abstract ID:278
Candidate for Awards:None

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