Abstract Detail



Ecology

Stickrod, Morgan [1], Parker, V. T. [2].

Liminal living: dispersal versus safe sites in a brackish tidal wetland.

            We are currently investigating seed dispersal dynamics of a brackish tidal marsh at Rush Ranch Open Space in Solano County, California. Through the evaluation of seed bank surveys, seed traps, and flotation experiments, we seek to understand dispersal syndromes of tidal marsh plants, and how dispersal relates to key processes that shape vegetation patterns in tidal wetlands. In particular, we are interested in whether seed dispersal results in localized seed input, or if the seeds are well-distributed. Further, if the seeds are well-distributed, do the physical gradients of the marsh determine the distribution of species?             
            Previous studies have demonstrated that patterns in tidal wetlands tend to be driven by inter-specific competition as well as tolerance to salinity and inundation, despite ubiquitous dispersal of propagules by taxa established throughout the greater estuarine wetlands of the region. If hydrochory is the principal mode of dispersal, we predict that all areas of the marsh will have representative species from other zones, which the seed banks should directly reflect. Despite widespread dispersal, above ground vegetation in tidal marshes tends to adhere to strict zonation patterns. I predict that the results of these experiments should help demonstrate that different zones are assembled by physical processes, independent of the composition and richness of the seed bank flora.
            Positioned at the confluence of San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, Rush Ranch and the greater Suisun March complex host an impressive diversity of native California flora, including the federally endangered Suisun Thistle (Cirsium hydrophilum var. hydrophilum). The results of our studies will help inform future management and restoration efforts for the Suisun Thistle, as well as the greater estuarine complex, in the face of myriad effects associated with global climate change and sea level rise.


1 - San Francisco State University, Biology - Ecology and Evolution, 1573 45th ave., San Francisco, CA, 94122, USA
2 - San Francisco State University, Biology, 1600 Holloway Avenue, Department Of Biology, San Francisco, CA, 94132, United States

Keywords:
none specified

Presentation Type: Poster This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PEC005
Abstract ID:207
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Poster


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