Date

6-2014

Degree Name

BS in Earth Sciences

Department

Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences Department

Advisor(s)

Antonio F. Garcia

Abstract

Endemic Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) is limited to three locations in California due to its unique ecological requirements. This project was conducted to investigate spatial growth patterns ofMonterey pine over complex ground surfaces. The coastal hills of Rancho Marino Reserve, Cambria, were surveyed using four 150-m transects to quantify and record ground surface features and growing conditions ofMonterey pine. Changes in elevation of each transect were measured using an Abney level. Linear ground surfaces were found at 86% (344 of 400) of survey nodes. Convex ground surfaces were found at 10.5% of survey nodes (42 of 400). Of the 50 trees that were encountered, 54% grew on linear surfaces and 44% grew on convex surfaces. Calculations of elevation changes were inconclusive due to error. Complex meter scale variations in the ground surface influence the spatial extent ofMonterey pine trees at Rancho Marino. The trees likely prefer higher porosity levels associated with linear and convex soil surfaces. Monterey pine may have played a first-hand role in recent landscape evolution at Rancho Marino.