Two endangered plant species (Portulaca sclerocarpa, `ihi mākole, and Sesbania tomentosa, `ōhai) and a species of concern (Bobea timonioides, `ahakea) native to the coastal lowlands and dry mid-elevation woodlands of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park were studied for more than two years to determine their stand structure, short-term mortality rates, patterns of reproductive phenology, success of fruit production, seed germination rates in the greenhouse, presence of soil seed bank, and survival of both natural and planted seedlings. The role of rodents as fruit and seed predators was evaluated using exclosures and seed offerings in open and closed stations or cages. Rodents were excluded from randomly selected plants of P. sclerocarpa and from branches of S. tomentosa, and flower and fruit production were compared to that of adjacent unprotected plants. Tagged S. tomentosa fruit were also monitored monthly to detect rodent predation.
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Status and limiting factors of three rare plant species in the coastal lowlands and mid-elevation woodlands of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park