This project addresses needs identified through the Natural Community Conservation Planning Program relating to the maintenance of coastal sage scrub communities in southern California. With colleagues at UCSD and Riverside, this project will address inventory and monitoring, species persistence/demographics, exotic and invasive species, and reserve design/biogeography/landscape processes, historical land use/succession. Historic plot data will be combined with contemporary data from resampled plots, information derived from historic and contemporary air photos, and data from soils and climate maps in a geographic analysis of external and environmental influences on coastal sage scrub preserves. Methods of plant community ecology, geographic information systems, and landscape ecology will be combined to identify predominant factors arising in the surrounding landscape that drive dynamics of key species in NCCP natural areas. Our studies of factors affecting vegetation dynamics will be combined with UCSD work on animal populations to produce synthetic conclusions about ecosystem processes, animal-plant interactions, and effects of vegetation change on animal habitat value. This analysis will produce specific recommendations that will help managers develop an integrated approach to managing the NCCP preserve system for preservation of biological diversity in the context of the overall landscape.
Frank W. Davis
October, 1997 to October, 1999