Hawaiian Montane Bogs

The montane bogs of this BioProvince occur largely in clusters on the high plateaus, such as Alaka’I Swamp on Kaua’i or on flat-topped ridges as on the summit areas of Maui. Many occur on impervious ground but in the extreme high rainfall areas such as on the summit area of Mt Wai’ale’ale where rainfall exceeds 12 m per year this is not necessary. The vegetation is mostly composed of a hummocky matrix of sedges, mostly Rhynchospora lavarum and the endemic Oreobolus furcatus (Cyperaceae), and Sphagnum moss, but may include other endemic sedges such as Carex montis-eeka (Cyperaceae) and various grasses. Many of these bogs are important for local endemics. For example, the Silversward Bog of Mauna Loa includes the endemic silversward Argyroxiphium kauense (Asteraceae), while bogs on Maui include the closely related endemic ‘greensward’ Argyroxiphium grayanum. These are absent from the bogs on Kaua’I but here can be found the candelabra-like endemic Lobelia kauensis (Campanulaceae), while the endemic Lobelia grayana grows on the margins of certain Haleakala bogs. Other bog-based endemics include the peculiar Plantago krajinai (Plantaginaceae) with its large, white, wooly, deeply veined leaves.


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