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Long-term prospects for restoration of coastal sage scrub: invasive species, nitrogen deposition, and novel ecosystemsAuthor(s): Edith B. Allen; Christopher McDonald; Bridget E. Hilbig
Source: Proceedings of the chaparral restoration workshop, California. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-265. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 1-18
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (1.0 MB)
DescriptionCoastal sage scrub (CSS) is one of the most endangered ecosystem-types in California and is undergoing extensive restoration efforts. Major threats to CSS include agriculture and urban development, fragmentation, invasive species, frequent fire, and high levels of anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition that increases exotic species productivity, further increasing fuel for fire. In this review we compare a range of techniques that have been used with varying success to restore CSS, using examples from published and unpublished sources. Techniques that treat large scales and reduce the exotic seedbank are the most effective, such as herbicides or solarization, but each may also have drawbacks. Other methods include mulch, seeding or planting species with competitive functional traits, grazing, and fire. Regardless of method, invasive species recolonize to varying extents following restoration, and periodic treatment is needed. CSS in sites receiving more than the critical load of 11 kg ha-1 yr-1 of N deposition may become type-converted to exotic annual grassland in the absence of other disturbance such as fire. Such sites are not good candidates for restoration. Inability to control exotic species reinvasion and restore diversity of native forbs results in novel ecosystems with reduced conservation value and ecosystem services.
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CitationAllen, Edith B.; McDonald, Christopher; Hilbig, Bridget E. 2019. Long-term prospects for restoration of coastal sage scrub: invasive species, nitrogen deposition, and novel ecosystems. In: Narog, Marcia, tech. coord. Proceedings of the chaparral restoration workshop, California. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-265. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 1-18.
KeywordsCoastal sage scrub, invasive plant species, fire, functional traits, nitrogen deposition, critical load, restoration, smokewater, solarization
- Air pollution and vegetation change in southern California coastal sage scrub: a comparison with chaparral and coniferous forest
- Nitrogen deposition effects on coastal sage vegetation of southern California
- Stability of exotic annual grasses following restoration efforts in southern California coastal sage scrub
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