native plants

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park / Flickr
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park / Flickr

Two native plant species are thriving today in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Today on Bytemarks Café, we'll find out how drones are being used by botany researchers to find new native plant communities. We'll learn how these unmanned aerial systems with high resolution cameras are able to identify the rarest plants in very remote areas.

National Tropical Botanical Garden
National Tropical Botanical Garden

An organization on Kauai is keeping a critically endangered plant from going extinct.

There are only 40 ‘ohe ‘ohe trees left in the wild, but the National Tropical Botanical Garden has multiplied the population in a matter of days.

This is part of the organization’s latest project to save the native plant.

Tessa McSwain is the group’s Marketing Director.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

One of Hawai‘i’s oldest and most culturally important native trees is under siege from a mysterious disease. So far more than 34,000 acres of ‘ōhi‘a trees have died, and it's left scientists scrambling for a solution. HPR’s Molly Solomon visited the Big Island forest where it all began.

About 40 minutes south of Hilo, in the Leilani Estates subdivision in lower Puna, is what scientists are calling ground zero for Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death.

J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

Hawaiʻi has been called by some 'the endangered species capital of the world', but it may not be known as such for long.  There is a group of people working to stem the tide of plant species loss in the islands.  They are the men and women of the Plant Extinction Prevention Program.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Big Island Invasive Species Committee
Big Island Invasive Species Committee

Invasive species threaten the well being of native flora and fauna. This threat takes many forms, a fungus, a disease, a plant or animal. The legacy of the presence of invasive species is felt across the islands. On Hawai'i island, the Big Island Invasive Species Committee is conducting outreach and education projects, and building strategies to combat invasive species.

Christopher Phillips explains...

J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

The ʻōhiʻa tree is a statewide symbol of Hawaiʻi's forests. Over the past five years, ʻōhiʻa appear to be dying rapidly and under mysterious circumstances from a microscopic enemy. By limiting the transport of diseased woods, we can stop the disease making its way to other islands.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Koa Forest

Feb 3, 2016
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

Prized for its beautiful wood product, koa is one of the most valuable woods on the planet. Restoring koa forests is a profitable practice. Economics, in part, is driving the conservation and restoration of this legendary tree.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Silversword

Feb 3, 2016
Jane Peterson
Jane Peterson

The Silversword is uniquely adapted to life on the high altitude volcanic substrate of Hawaiʻi's mountains. An extensive conservation effort is underway to preserve these plants in the wild.

Christopher Phillips explains...

J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

The designation of state flower would lead one to believe that the Hawaiian Hibiscus is prolific amongst the Hawaiian Islands. In fact, the populations of these plants are staggeringly small. The primary reason: habitat degradation.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Yvonne Yarber Carter
Yvonne Yarber Carter

When we think of forests under threat, we often think of the tropical rainforest; however, on the island of Hawaiʻi, it is the dryland forest that is far more endangered.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Sandalwood

Feb 3, 2016
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

Sandalwood, prized for its mystical powers of healing, is used in ritual proceedings and alternative medicine across Asia. In Hawaiʻi, trade in this valuable wood brought about the collapse of tree populations by 1830. While the sandalwood trade is long gone, a surviving sandalwood forest exists in a 120,000 acre region on the island of Hawaiʻi.

Christopher Phillips explains...

J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

The Hawaiʻi Public Seed Initiative aims to improve, increase, and promote biodiversity of crops across the state. By working with local communities, farmers, and gardeners, the Initiative aims to grow, harvest, store, and improve the very best seeds that thrive in Hawaiʻi. This will ensure that local producers can continue to provide locally grown -- not flown -- produce for island dinner tables.

Christopher Phillips explains...

DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife
DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife

The Kaʻu coast on the southwestern corner of the Hawaiʻi island is one of the largest and most intact expanse of native forest in the state. This Kaʻu Preserve is home to many rare plants and endangered forest birds. Local communities and landowners are doing their part to protect the forest.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Jill Wagner
Jill Wagner

The banking of seeds is a vital tool in the campaign to protect Hawaiʻi's forests. Hawaʻi Forest Institute's Hawaiʻi Island Native Seed Bank specializes in rare, threatened, and endangered species. This genetic safety net will provide native species with a valuable insurance policy.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Nurseries

Feb 3, 2016
Jill Wagner
Jill Wagner

There are a number of private nurseries in the state which contribute to preserving the rich natural tapestry of Hawaiʻi's forests. They can scale up their nursery operations, supplying vast numbers of plants for use in crisis situations.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Office of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM)
Office of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM)

A large portion of the land mass of Hawaiʻi Island, is contained on the slopes of the tallest mountain in the world, Mauna Kea. The mountain is host to a variety of ecosystems, stretching from the coastal waters, to the arid aeolian desert of the summit area.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

Nestled atop of the lush Mānoa Valley watershed, there is the Lyon Arboretum. It is located a mere five miles from the bustling crowds and noise of Waikīkī. The Arboretum itself serves as a scientific and cultural resource for Oʻahu's mostly urban population.

Christopher Phillips explains...

Restoration Agroforestry, Dr. Travis Idol
Restoration Agroforestry, Dr. Travis Idol

The task of restoring Hawaiʻi's forests is nothing short of monumental. To truly make a difference in protecting precious island ecosystem it requires substantial financial investment, expenditure in manhours and a logistical train of plant materials, and support for volunteers, students, and professional scientists.

Christopher Phillips explains...

The Hawai'i Conservation Alliance
The Hawai'i Conservation Alliance

The Hawaiʻi Conservation Alliance is composed of twenty organizations, including governmental, cultural, educational, and nonprofit. Their mission is to safeguard the biodiversity of Hawaiʻi's ecosystems.

Christopher Phillips explains...

HFIA
HFIA

Carbon reduction is a frequently mentioned topic in today's society. Society faces the specter of climate change and the consequences brought about by years of the unrestrained burning of fossil fuels. But what can we do here in Hawaiʻi to combat climate change?

Christopher Phillips explains...

University of Hawaii
University of Hawaii

Scientists say a disease killing hundreds of thousands of ‘ōhi‘a trees on Hawaii's Big Island is spreading. Recent aerial surveys show the acreage of infected trees has more than doubled in the past two years. State, county and federal agencies collaborated to conduct the surveys by helicopter last month. The fungal disease, called Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death, was found in 34,000 acres of ‘ōhi‘a forest. Rob Hauff is the Forest Health Coordinator with the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources
Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

Hundreds of thousands of native ohia trees are dying off because of a new fungus. The disease is spreading across the Big Island and state officials are hoping to contain it before it reaches other islands. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

Planting for Hawaii's Future, One Test Tube at a Time

Jun 24, 2013
Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Hawai‘i is home to over 12,000 native plant species, with 90% found nowhere else in the world. Hundreds of these plants are endangered and teeter on the brink of extinction. HPR's Molly Solomon reports on a science lab at the center of a conservation effort that's working to save some of Hawai’i’s rarest native plants.