January 1, 2019.
Survival and Growth in Experimental Plots at a Santa Rosa Island Restoration Site, 2016-2018 Marisol Villarreal1, Stephen Bednar2, Kathryn McEachern3 1Woodland Joint Unified School District, 2Mountains Restoration Trust, 3United States Geological Survey Restoration biology, the practice of healing a damaged landscape to that of a functioning ecosysytem, is as variable a science as they come. Restoration treatments may take into account precipitation, symbiotic relationships, microclimate, degree of plant succession, and soil conditions. The most effective restoration is based on experimental research. Such is the goal for the Cloud Forest Restoration Project on Santa Rosa Island, within Channel Islands National Park off the coast of Southern California. Here, plants receive the majority of their moisture from fog, including perennial Coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) and Purple-needle grass (Stipa pulchra) in experimental plots. The experimental plots are located on Soledad Ridge, which is particularly damaged due to extreme levels of soil erosion. The effort to establish B. pilularis and S. pulchra include treatments aimed at increasing captured fog through fog-harvesting fences and reducing erosion with wattles. The treatments were assessed by comparing growth of B. pilularis and S. pulchra for two consecutive years. This was done by collecting applicable plant measurements (stem diameter, height, and canopy length and width) in 2017 and 2018 and by both (1) comparing the numbers to initial measurements taken in 2016 and (2) comparing the differences among experimental treatments. The results show that survivorship and growth gains are greatest for B. pilularis in the combination fog and wattle treatment, but less pronounced for S. pulchra. Suggestions for key words, if needed: Restoration, fog, Channel Islands National Park, Santa Rosa Island, plant growth.
Robyn Shea, Aspen Coty
California State University, Channel Islands (CSUCI)
The 2018 STEM Teacher and Researcher Program and this project have been made possible through support from Chevron (www.chevron.com), the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (www.marinesanctuary.org), the National Science Foundation through the Robert Noyce Program under Grant #1836335 and 1340110, the California State University Office of the Chancellor, and California Polytechnic State University in partnership with California State University, Channel Islands. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funders.