Conservation Genetics

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 257–270

Conservation genetics and ecology of an endemic montane palm on Lord Howe Island and its potential for resilience

Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10592-011-0282-1

Cite this article as:
Shapcott, A., Hutton, I., Baker, W.J. et al. Conserv Genet (2012) 13: 257. doi:10.1007/s10592-011-0282-1


Lepidorrhachis mooreana (Arecaceae) is a monotypic palm genus endemic to the remote Lord Howe Island where it is restricted to a small area of cloud forest above 750 m that is likely to be vulnerable to climate change. We investigated genetic diversity and key demographic parameters to assess the palm’s potential long term viability including possible climate change impacts. The palm was found on only one of the island’s two mountain summits, where the sampled sites were effectively behaving as one panmictic population. The moderate genetic diversity found indicates some adaptive potential for L. mooreana. The population was effectively inbred. Large numbers of fruit are produced, but successful juvenile recruitment is limited by predation by introduced rats. The relatively large population size increases the potential for selection for adaptation to a changing climate.


ArecaceaeConservation geneticsDemographyClimate changePacific IslandPalmaePopulation viabilityPredationReproductionSubtropical cloud forest

Supplementary material

10592_2011_282_MOESM1_ESM.doc (82 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 82 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Shapcott
    • 1
  • I. Hutton
    • 2
  • W. J. Baker
    • 3
  • T. D. Auld
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Science Health and EducationUniversity of the Sunshine CoastMaroochydore DCAustralia
  2. 2.Lord Howe IslandAustralia
  3. 3.Royal Botanic GardensKew, Richmond, SurreyUK
  4. 4.Climate Change ScienceOffice of Environment and Heritage NSWHurstvilleAustralia