Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is home to 23 species of endangered vascular plants and 15 species of endangered trees. Understanding how climate change may impact the park’s plants is vital for their long-term survival. This product was designed to assist managers of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park in preparing for a changing climate by identifying how plant distributions within the park may shift under future climate conditions, focusing on how these distributions compare with currently defined Special Ecological Areas within the park.
Hawaiʻi is home to a rich diversity of native plants, about 90 percent of which are found nowhere else in the world, but changing climate conditions may reduce the amount of suitable habitat for native plants and contribute to the spread of invasive plant species. Scientists focused on 10 important native and five important invasive plant species, using over 35 years of data from thousands of locations in Hawai‘i to assess the plants’ preferred climate conditions and model their likely best future habitat based on climate change projections. The resulting maps and findings provide an initial set of decision support tools to help resource managers identify key locations for conserving native plants (and the birds and insects that rely on them) and for anticipating and controlling the spread of invasive plant species.
Coral reefs across the Pacific are coping with changing environmental conditions as ocean temperatures rise and local stressors (like pollution and sedimentation) affect coastlines. While coral reefs are sensitive to changes in their environment, some reefs are more resilient, or able to recover from disturbance more quickly, than others. These maps are the results of gathering information on reef resilience and vulnerability at 78 reef locations throughout the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to inform local coastal management and decision making.