July 1, 2015.
Santa Rosa Island which is part of the Channel Islands in California has a ranching history that goes as far back as the year 1843. While rich in history, the island is no longer “rich” in native plant populations due to the sheep, cattle and other livestock that once occupied the island. As a result of these grazers that the ranchers livelihood depended on, a great disturbance in the native plant population took place. It is up to plants such as Baccharis pilularis, commonly known as Coyote brush, to assist these endangered and threatened plants to once again flourish on Santa Rosa Island. In this study, a total of 200 cuttings were taken from the Coyote brush plant from different locations on the island. These cuttings were prepared with growth hormone and given time to grow their own roots in a humidity chamber for three-four weeks. The cuttings of Baccharis pilularis will be used as a pioneer plant to promote succession to shrub land on Santa Rosa Island. The Coyote brush will be planted on areas of the island that were devastated by the trampling and grazing of the cattle that once occupied the island and soil that has now been greatly affected by erosion. As a secondary succession plant, Coyote brush is utilized to reintroduce native plant species that were once prominent on Santa Rosa Island. Our goal and focus is to continue to collect and grow cuttings of this pioneer plant that has demonstrated success in the past in assisting the reintroduction of the various threatened and endangered plant species on Santa Rosa Island.
Biodiversity | Botany | Life Sciences | Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Plant Biology | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology
California State University, Channel Islands (CSUCI)
This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation and is made possible with contributions from the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1340110, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevron Corporation, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and from the host research center. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are solely those of the authors. The STAR Program is administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in STEM Education on behalf of the California State University system.