Systems

Grasslands

I started working in California’s grasslands as a restoration ecologist in 2010. Together with my hardworking interns and volunteers from the wonderful non-profit, Grassroots Ecology, I directed multiple adaptive management projects that tested best practices for restoring native species.

In 2017, mentored by my insightful and patient colleagues from the Suding lab, I led a paper on precipitation legacies in California’s rangelands. Here’s a short blogpost about the paper I wrote for the Journal of Ecology. 

Lagged effects figure_Sept29

Figure 1: Lagged effects in annual grasslands

We found that lagged precipitation is equally if not more important than current-year rainfall for annual grasslands. Figure 1 shows current year rainfall leading to lagged precipitation effects the following year, that are in part mediated by seed rain and biomass production from the previous year.

Collaborators: Lauren M. Hallett, Loralee Larios, Emily C. Farrer, Erica N. Spotswood, Claudia Stein, and Katharine N. Suding.

Mixed Conifer Forests

Working with crews at Blodgett Forest Research Station, I surveyed understory species in plots impacted by different management treatments, including fire, thinning and mastication. I am developing a manuscript for submission in 2018.

In the southern Sierra Nevada, I have been investigating sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana) health using long-term, permanent plots. Preliminary data indicate that sugar pines are declining in the southern Sierra and white pines may be following suit. I am working with my colleagues and mentors to publish a report on white pine health in 2018.

Collaborators: Robert York, Scott Stephens, Carmen Tubbesing, Brandon Collins, Jonny Nesmith, Adrian Das, and Nathan Stephenson.

Subalpine forests

Slow-growing subalpine forests in the Sierra Nevada are breathtakingly beautiful. These landscapes have inspired millions for centuries and yet few stop to wonder how climate change and the indirect impacts from human resource use will change them. Will rising temperatures increase biotic threats of mortality at high elevations? Or will accelerate growth and facilitate treeline expansion?

Collaborators: Nathan Stephenson, Adrian Das, Jonny Nesmith, Beverly Bulaon, and Martin MacKenzie.