Evaluation and Restoration of degraded chaparral within the Piru fire perimeter-Phase III

Award Period
to
Award Amount
$279,116
Agency Name
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Award Number
0806.19.064580
PI First Name
Carla
PI Last Name
 D'Antonio
MSI People
Area/s of Research
Ecology and Evolution
Abstract

University of California - Santa Barbara will evaluate methods currently used to restore chaparral woody species in sites that have been degraded to annual savanna grassland by recurrent fire within the Piru Fire Scar of Los Padres National Forest. This forest supports diverse flora and fauna and provides important ecosystem services such as protecting water quality and preventing erosion on mountain slopes. This ecosystems has long been considered resilient to periodic fire and fluctuations in environmental conditions, but are currently under threat from shortened fire return intervals. Despite concerns over the increasing degradation of chaparral, there are few quantitative studies on the restoration of chaparral plants in degraded wildland sites, and most studies report limited success. Through this research, the grantee will restore 5 acres, propogate 3,500< seedlings, harvest 3 pounds of seeds and develop 6 studies to inform future management.The project will determine dynamics of vegetation in response to multiple fires and environmental stressors, identify methods for native seed collection and germination, and experiment with native shrub restoration techniques while reducing invasive grasses.