September 1, 2016.
Beginning in the 1800s, sheep and cattle ranching have caused significant erosion and devegetation of Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park. In an effort to contain what little soil is left and rebuild the native chaparral, the Cloud Forest Restoration Project is testing erosion control structures such as wattles, leaf litter fences and silt dams. This summer a drip irrigation system was installed along with fog capturing fences to supply water to native plants transplanted near the erosion control structures. As the project has grown, more irrigation has been added to increase the area available for transplanting. This irrigation system varies in elevation, slope, and diameter and lengths of irrigation lines. Because this project is experimentally monitored, it is important that all the transplants obtain the same amount of water. To check the efficiency of this system, the flow rates of 1.9L/hr rated pressure-compensating emitters along ¾” diameter polyethylene irrigation tubing were checked. Flow rates were relatively consistent at 1.53 L/hr, 1.60 L/hr and 1.59 L/hr for 1/3, 2/3 and the whole system turned on, respectively. Although one might expect the addition of more irrigation line and emitters to decrease water pressure and thus the flow rate of individual emitters, the flow rates of emitters were found to be unaffected, indicating the effectiveness of the pressure-compensation. However, the flow rates of emitters were consistently lower than their 1.9 L/hr rating. In conclusion, the irrigation system is currently providing equal water to each of the transplants, but at a rate lower than expected.
Environmental Education | Natural Resources and Conservation
California State University, Channel Islands (CSUCI)
This project has been made possible with support from Chevron (www.chevron.com) and the California State University STEM Teacher Researcher Program in addition to support from United States Geological Survey, Mountains Restoration Trust, National Parks Service and CSU Channel Islands. Thank you to Kathryn McEachern and Ken Niessen for your mentorship and stories. Thank you to Cause Hanna and CSUCI staff for allowing us to stay in the bunk house and sit in on your lectures. Thank you to Jim Roberts and other NPS staff who provided help this summer, especially our boat captains who got us to and from SRI safely. Thank you to Carrie Fong, Michael Perez, and Julianne Bradbury for being such great coworkers and sharing an unforgettable summer with me. Most importantly, thank you to my parents for taking me fishing, hiking, and camping as a child. Thank you for sharing your love of nature and inspiring my passion for science.