CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Pritchardia viscosa

Photographer:
S. Perlman

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Pritchardia viscosa


Family: 
Arecaceae  
Common Name: 
loulu
Author: 
Rock
Growth Habit: 
Tree
CPC Number: 
12967

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Pritchardia viscosaenlarge
Photographer: S. Perlman
Image Owner: National Tropical Botanical Garden


Pritchardia viscosa is Fully Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 

 
Pritchardia viscosa


There are twenty three species of Pritchardia endemic to Hawaii, all are threatened with extinction. This particular species, Pritchardia viscosa, is threatened with extinction for a number of reasons, not the least of them is the fact that there is only one remaining population with only four individuals in it. This small population size is due to invasive plant species, grazing of introduced animals, and even hurricanes, as in 1992, when Hurricane Iniki destroyed half of the known population.

P. viscosa, a member of the palm family (Arecaceae) is a small palm 3 to 8 meters (10 to 26 ft) tall. The lower surfaces of the leaf blades are silvery gray and covered with small scales. The inflorescences and leaf stalks are approximately the same lengths (15 to 20 cm), and consist of one to three loosely branched panicles. The flowers of P. viscosa are located in two separate rows and are very shiny and sticky. The fruits are about 2.5 centimeters wide and shaped like pears. This species differs from others of the genus that grow on Kaua’i by the degree of hairiness of the lower surface of the leaves and main axis of the flower cluster, and length of the flower cluster (USFWS 1996).


Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Hawaii
State Range of  Pritchardia viscosa
Habitat
  P. viscosa is restricted to open wet forests on the windward side on the ridge that terminates the Powerline Trail, Kaua’i. They can be found at approximately 500 to 700 meters (1,640 to 2,300 ft) elevation (Wagner et al. 1999).

Associated species of P. viscosa include Ilex anomala (aiea), Bobea sp. (ahakea), Antidesma sp. (hame), Cibotium splendens (hapuu), and Psychortia hexandra (kopiko) (USFWS 1996).

Distribution
  P. viscosa is endemic to Kaua’i and was historically known only from a 1920 collection from Kalihiwai Valley. It was not seen again until 1990, when naturalist John Obata and Ken Wood, National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) observed it in the same general area as Rock’s type locality (off the Powerline Road at 510 meters elevation on state land). Hurricane Iniki, in 1992 destroyed three wild plants from this population (USFWS 1998) leaving four mature plants comprising the only known extant individuals.

Number Left
  Number of Populations: 1 (USFWS 2001)
Number of Plants: 4 (USFWS 2001)

Protection

Global Rank:  
G1
 
5/7/1997
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
LE
 
10/10/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
Yes
 
8/23/1998

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Hawaii S1 4/11/2002  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  Threats to P. viscosa include competition from non-native invasive species such as Psidium cattleianum (strawberry guava) and alien grasses, such as Paspalum conjugatum (Hilo grass). Rats eat the fruit of P viscosa and are a serious threat to the reproductive success of this species. Signs of boots used by someone to scale the tree have damaged one of the four remaining mature trees. In 1996, a young plant and seeds were removed from the only known location of this species. Because of this past activity, it is reasonable to assume that these plants are threatened by over-collection and vandalism. Natural catastrophic occurrences such as hurricanes also threaten P. viscosa (USFWS 1998).

Threats
  Threats to P. viscosa include competition from non-native invasive species such as Psidium cattleianum (strawberry guava) and alien grasses, such as Paspalum conjugatum (Hilo grass). Rats eat the fruit of P. viscosa and are a serious threat to the reproductive success of this species. Signs of boots used by someone to scale the tree have damaged one of the four remaining mature trees. In 1996, a young plant and seeds were removed from the only known location of this species. Because of this past activity, it is reasonable to assume that these plants are threatened by over-collection and vandalism. Natural catastrophic occurrences such as hurricanes also threaten P. viscosa (USFWS 1998).

Current Research Summary
  P. viscosa has been successfully propagated from seed and tissue culture. There are also 20 plants in cultivation. No other conservation efforts have been made (USFWS 1998).

Current Management Summary
  Although many palm seeds do not store well under standard storage methods, tests are a being conducted on cryopreservation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Seed Storage Laboratory, also known as the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP).

NTBG currently has ex situ holdings of six plants in the nursery and seven plants in the grounds of the botanical garden that represent two founders from the single population.

Research Management Needs
  1. Construct enclosures to protect P. viscosa against feral ungulates. Emergency actions should be taken to immediately fence the remaining population. Once the enclosure is established, weed management should be performed especially on Hilo grass (Paspalum conjugatum) and strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum).
2. Reduce the threat of rodent predation by developing a rat control plan.
3. Maintain an adequate genetic stock of P. viscosa. Maintenance of adequate ex situ stock should be continued. Wild seeds should also be collected periodically until the cryopreservation method of long-term storage is perfected. This will ensure that viable seed stock is available for outplanting.
4. Pollination biology and seed dispersal studies are needed.
5. Map genetic diversity in the surviving populations of P. viscosa.
Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin, M. Maunder, and USFWS (1998).

Ex Situ Needs
  1. Establish secure ex situ stocks with full founder representation.
2. Develop proper horticultural protocols and pest management for P. viscosa.
3. Survey ex situ holding and conduct molecular fingerprinting.
Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin and M. Maunder.

References

Books (Single Authors)

Wagner, W.L.; Bruegmann, M.M.; Herbst, D.R; Lau, J.Q.C. 1999. Hawaiian Vascular Plants at Risk: 1999. Honolulu, HI: Bishop Museum Press Honolulu.

Wagner, W.L.; Herbst, D.R.; Sohmer, S.H. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawai'i--Revised Edition. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press and Bishop Museum Press. 1853p.

Books (Sections)

Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the U.S., Canada, and Greenland. In: Kartesz, J.T.; Meacham, C.A., editors. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden. Chapel Hill, NC.

Electronic Sources

NatureServe. (2008). NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. [Internet].Version 7.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. http://www.natureserve.org/explorer. Accessed: (June 17, 2008).

USFWS. (2001). Unpublished data. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817. Accessed: 2001.

Journal Articles

Beccari, O.; Rock, J.F. 1921. A monographic study of the genus Pritchardia. Mem. Bernice P. Bishop Mus. 8: 1-77.

Gemmill, C.E.C.; Ranker, T.A.; Ragone, D. 1993. Conservation of the native Hawaiian palm genus Pritchardia. The Bulletin-- National Tropical Botanical Garden. 23, 1/2: 141-146.

Hodel, D.R. 1980. Notes on Pritchardia in Hawaii. Princeps. 24, 2: 65-81.

Read, R.W. 1988. A new Pritchardia from Kauai, Hawaii. Principes. 32: 135-139.

USFWS. 1995. Proposed endangered or threatened status for nineteen plant species from the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Federal Register. 60, 185: 49359-49377.

USFWS. 1996. Determination of endangered or threatened status for nineteen plant species from the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Federal Register. 61, 198: 53070-53089.

USFWS. 2000. Determinations of Whether Designation of Critical Habitat is Prudent for 81 Plants and Proposed Designations for 76 Plants From the Islands of Kauai and Niihau, Hawaii; [Proposed Rule]. Federal Register. 65, 216: 66807-66885.

USFWS. 2002. Revised Determinations of Prudency and Proposed Designations of Critical Habitat for Plant Species from the Islands of Kauai and Niihau, Hawaii. Federal Register. 67, 18: 3940-4098.

Reports

USFWS. 1998. Kauai II: Addendum to the Recovery Plan for the Kauai Plant Cluster. Portland, OR: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. p.84+.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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