Abstract Detail

Floristics & Taxonomy

McGowan, Harrison [1], Fisher, Amanda [2].

A Flora of the Chiquito Basin, Santa Ana Mountains, Peninsular Ranges of Southern California.

The California Floristic province is home to at least 6,143 plant species and has a similar amount of plant species diversity as the northeastern United States. However, 75% of natural habitat in California has been lost to development. Of the habitat remaining, the additional stress of temperature rise may pose a threat to California’s native plants. For many areas, there has been no recent cataloging of species to monitor the effects of habitat loss and temperature rise on native plant populations. The goal of this project is to survey the vascular plant diversity of the Chiquito Basin in the Santa Ana Mountains of Southern California. The results from this work will allow me to determine whether there has been a substantial change in the flora since a survey of the Santa Ana Mountains in 1978. The Chiquito Basin study area is 44 km2(10,900 acres) and rises from the west (220 m) to a ridge (1378 m) on the eastern boundary. The major plant communities are chaparral, coastal sage scrub, oak woodland, and riparian. After one field season I have documented 110 families and 640 taxa, from 1547 newly collected and historic voucher specimens. One way that plants can respond to increasing temperatures is to migrate upwards in elevation and remain within their climate niche. Plant species with lighter seeds are more likely to be able to migrate upwards than species with heavier seeds. I hypothesize that if temperatures have risen in the Santa Anas since the 1970s, then plants with lighter seeds will have moved to higher elevations. To study these changes, I will compare historic and recent herbarium specimens from Chiquito Basin. I will use this data in combination with temperature data from a NOAA weather station and average seed weights to test if shifts in plant distribution have taken place and if these shifts correlate with seed weights. I will assess if any significant changes in elevation have taken place across all plant species, and within particular groups of seed weights, plant habits, and plant lineages. My project will advance our understanding of the flora of the Santa Ana Mountains and test if broad hypotheses about plant responses to climate change are taking place in the Southern California coastal mountains.

1 - CSULB, Biological Sciences, 311 6th street , Huntington Beach, CA, 92648, USA
2 - California State University, Long Beach, Biological Sciences, Mail Stop 9502, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA, 90840, United States

California biodiversity
climate change
Coastal Mountains
public lands.

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: PFT007
Abstract ID:529
Candidate for Awards:None

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