TNC Action Sites
Maps & Figures
Coprosma montana (pilo) grows in dry montane and subalpine habitats.
Small, tough drought-resistant leaf forms dominate in Hawaiian subalpine systems
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Natural communities between 2000 m (6000 ft) and 3000 m(9000 ft) elevation comprise the Subalpine System in the Hawaiian HighIslands Ecoregion. The Subalpine System is restricted to two islands:Hawai‘i and Maui, and occupies the near-summit regions ofthe highest mountains on those islands (Haleakalā on Maui; Mauna Keaand Mauna Loa on Hawai‘i) immediate below the alpine system, and immediately above montane dry and montane mesic systems.
There are several natural communities described within thesubalpine system; including forest, shrublands, and grasslands. Rawbiological diversity is not high in this system, but specializedplants and invertebrates occur there, as well as bird species adaptedto foraging and nesting in subalpine habitats. These include oneof the honeycreepers, the Palila (Loxioides baileui), Māmane-Naio (Sophora chrysophylla - Myoporum sandwicense) Subalpine Dry Forest, and Deschampsia nubigena Subalpine Dry Grassland. The Palila is a Hawaiian honeycreeper that requires intact
māmane-naio subalpine dyr forest. Photo: Jack Jeffrey. Deschampsia grassland in the central district of Haleakalā, Maui.
Photo: Forest and Kim Starr.
Subalpine natural communities are listed among nested targets via the appendices
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TheSubalpine System in Hawai‘i lies largely above the clouds andis dominated by mesic to dry shrublands, grasslands, and a few forest types. Subalpine slopes of Haleakalā, Maui. Photo: Forest & Kim Starr.
TheSubalpine System on Hawai‘i Island (red area)occurs in four conservation areas (Mauna Kea, Ka‘ū-Kapāpala, Kona,
and Pōhakuloa-Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a) from 6000-9000 feet elevation.
TheSubalpine System on Maui (red area) occurs only in theEast Maui conservation area, from 6000-9000 feet elevation.