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Bulletin of the Auckland Museum

The flora and vegetation of L’Esperance Rock

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The flora and vegetation of L’Esperance Rock

Peter J. de Lange
Department of Conservation
16 October 2015


The flora and vegetation of L’Esperance Rock, Kermadec Islands, is described. L’Esperance has a flora of twelve plants (one pteridophyte, nine angiosperms, one liverwort, one moss). Fifteen lichens (14 identified to species level, one to genus level) are also reported here. The grass, Lachnagrostis billardierei subsp. billardierei, and the herbs, Lepidium oleraceum, Spergularia tasmanica, and Solanum nodiflorum, are additions to the vascular flora of L’Esperance Rock, and, aside from the Lepidium and Solanum, the others are also additions to the known flora of the Kermadec Islands. Ten lichens are additions to recorded mycobiota for L’Esperance Rock, and of these, seven are also new records for the Kermadec Islands. Three empirically derived plant associations are recognised: bare rock and cliff faces, lichen field and Disphyma turf. The impact of Cyclone Bune (which struck L’Esperance Rock at the 28 March 2011) on the vegetation of the Rock is discussed, and the role that cyclones may have in the turnover of island flora is briefly explored. The conservation status of the L’Esperance Rock endemic Senecio lautus subsp. esperensis is reviewed.

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Cite this article

Peter de J. Lange. The flora and vegetation of L’Esperance Rock, southern Kermadec Islands. Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum 20: 231:242.