Abstract Detail


Meeder, Annie [1], Yost, Jenn [2], Klinger, Robert [3].

Analysis of Post-Eradication Transitions and Dynamics of Santa Cruz Island Vegetation Communities.

My long-term project is to analyze vegetation dynamics on Santa Cruz Island (SCI), California over a 32 year period (1991 – 2023). The island has experienced two major animal grazing events (sheep and pigs) that had a large effect on vegetation dynamics.1,2 Subsequent removal of these herbivores resulted in a recovery period for native species, and an expansion of the invasive plants.3 Along with historical disturbances, the island is also expected to be subjected to longer term changes in climate. There are going to be pronounced as well as subtle changes in the vegetation. In the 1990s one hundred plots were established to monitor changes in vegetation cover over time. My research will resample these 100 plots in spring 2022-24. With these data, I will look at changes in diversity, composition and structure of the plant communities. Beyond SCI, I anticipate that my approach can be used as a model for assessing vegetation dynamics and management strategies in island systems in many parts of the world4,5,6, as well as mainland areas where vegetation has undergone alteration from overgrazing. We will directly compare our 2022 data to the 1990s dataset to see the change in vegetation dynamics over the course of the past 32 years. This will provide direct evidence for how SCI vegetation has changed in response to passive recovery post herbivore removal.
References:[1] Van Vuren, D., and Coblentz, B.E. (1987). Some ecological effects of feral sheep on Santa Cruz Island, California. Biological Conservation 41:253–268. [2] Minnich, R.A. 1980. Vegetation of Santa Cruz and Santa Catalina Islands. In The California Islands: Proceedings of a Multidisciplinary Symposium, D.M. Power, Ed. Santa Barbara, CA: Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, pp. 123–128. [3] Klinger, R.C., Schuyler, P., and Sterner, J.D. 2002. The response of herbaceous vegetation and endemic plant species to the removal of feral sheep from Santa Cruz Island, California. In Turning the Tide: The Eradication of Invasive Species, C.R. Veitch and M.N. Clout, Eds. Auckland, New Zealand: Invasive Species Specialist Group of The World Conservation Union (IUCN), pp. 163–176. [4] Bergstrom, D.M., Lucieer, A., Kiefer, K., Wasley, J., Belbin, L., Pedersen, T.K., Chown, S.L. 2009. Indirect effects of invasive species removal devastate World Heritage island. Journal of Applied Ecology 46:73–81. [5] Glen, A.S., Atkinson, R., Campbell, K.J., Hagen, E., Holmes, N.D., Keitt, B.S., Parkes, J.P, Saunders, A., Sawyer, J., Torres, H. 2013. Eradicating multiple invasive species on inhabited islands: the next big step in island restoration? Biological Invasions 15:2589–2603. [6] Han, Y., Kristensena, N.P., Buckley, Y.M., Maple, D.J., West, J., McDonald-Maddenh, E. 2020. Predicting the ecosystem-wide impacts of eradication with limited information using a qualitative modelling approach. Ecological Modelling 430 109122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2020.109122

1 - 73 Chorro Street, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93405, United States
2 - Cal Poly, Biology, 1 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93407, United States
3 - USGS, Western Ecological Research Center, Boulder City Field Station, 500 Date St., Boulder City, NV, 89005, USA

Island Ecology
Disturbance Regimes
invasive species.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: EC10003
Abstract ID:111
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Paper

Copyright © 2000-2022, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved