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Author Topic: Plants, Ecosystems, Climate - Northern California 2023  (Read 4064 times)

MarcR

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Re: Plants, Ecosystems, Climate - Northern California 2023
« Reply #60 on: January 06, 2024, 12:04:50 AM »
Robert,

Is reseeding the area with lodgepole pine and associated native flora a viable restoration approach?

Marc Rosenblum

Falls City, OR USA

I am in USDA zone 8b where temperatures almost never fall below 15F -9.4C.  Rainfall 50" 110 cm + but none  June-September.  We seldom get snow; but when it comes we get 30" overnight. Soil is sandy loam with a lot of humus. 
Oregon- where Dallas is NNW of Phoenix

Robert

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Re: Plants, Ecosystems, Climate - Northern California 2023
« Reply #61 on: January 06, 2024, 02:55:55 AM »
Hi Marc,

The short answer to your question is yes; however this would most likely not be the best approach. In addition, there could be very serious repercussions if any aspect of reseeding was not done appropriately and with keen sensitivity.

In the Lyons Creek Basin, the Caldor Fire burned through mostly unmanaged ecosystems. There were and are few invasive species. Left to itself, Nature will likely reestablish an ecologically balanced system perfectly suited to the current climatic pattern.

The “starting point” for this new system is far different climatically from what a “starting point” would have been like 100 years ago on a burned over Lodgepole Pine forest ecosystem in this same area. There have been a number of burned over sites I have been monitoring for the last 5 to 10 years on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Recovery in Single Leaf Pinyon Pine ecosystems has been extremely slow. Invasive species are presenting a huge obstacle. Persistent drought is another impediment to relatively rapid recovery. However, my hypothesis is that the vastly altered surface energy budget in the aftermath of the fire, exacerbated by climatic change, has created conditions favorable to undesirable feedback loops which will lead these habitats into unknown new directions. I find this type of research incredibly fascinating and rewarding.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: Plants, Ecosystems, Climate - Northern California 2023
« Reply #62 on: January 12, 2024, 06:23:27 PM »


On 30 November 2023, I visited Poho Ridge in El Dorado County, California. The crest of Poho Ridge is situated at an elevation of ~ 3,350 feet (1,021 meters) to the north overlooking the South Fork of the American River. Parts of the crest of the ridge burned severely during the autumn 2014 King Fire.



Many species respond well to fire in California. Arctostaphylos viscida ssp. viscida (pictured) is an obligate seeder and generally responds well after a fire. Unlike many Arctostaphylos species, Arctostaphylos viscida does not form burls that can resprout after the top has burned to the ground. Instead, fire triggers abundant germination of dormant seeds in the soil seed bank.



The nascent inflorescence of Arctostaphylos viscida generally hangs downward, however a large percentage of plants will hold their nascent inflorescence upright for a period of time. Before the flowers open, the nascent inflorescence will turn downward.



Other plants always hold their nascent inflorescence downward from the time of formation.



Knobcone Pine, Pinus attenuata, is an extremely drought tolerant species found throughout the Transition Zone of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It can also be quite abundant in the Northern Coast Ranges of California. Its complete range extends from Southern Oregon to Baja California and eastward to the Modoc Plateau.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: Plants, Ecosystems, Climate - Northern California 2023
« Reply #63 on: January 12, 2024, 06:26:19 PM »


Knobcone Pine is another species that responds well to fire. The cones of this species will cling to the trunk of the tree, unopened, until there is a fire. Sometimes the cones can cling to the trunk for years and the tree trunk will slowly grow around the cone, until it is nothing more than a bulge in the tree trunk where the cone is located. With fire, the cones open and disperse their seeds. Germination is generally rapid during the spring following the fire.



Temperatures had cooled sufficiently to trigger some bright red autumn tints to the leaves of Drymocallis glandulosa var. glandulosa.  It prefers filtered shade in dry locations.



In a shaded moist canyon, I found a few specimens of California Nutmeg, Torreya californica. This species is never seen abundantly in our region, however if one knows their preferred habitat they can generally be found. The needles of this species are quite stiff and sharp, but still tame compared to the needles of Araucaria. This species gets its name from its fruit, which resemble the spice whole nutmeg in size and color. They do not have the scent or flavor however.  At most, they have a slight coniferous scent.

The weather was unsettled with snow in the forecast. I did not want to drive the steep winding road into and back out of the American River canyon in the snow, so I cut my visit short before the bulk of the storm arrived.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

 


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