Plant Species Observation Paper

710 Words3 Pages
To gather a comprehensive collection of the plant species found on the SCICON property. Observations will be made of plant associations, slope and soil conditions. The results will aid us in determining vegetation composition and create vegetation profiles of the area.

Tulare County, with the exception of the National Parks, has one of the least known floras in California. Since much of the valley floor has been converted to agricultural purposes and the foothills dedicated to ranching, there have been few botanical surveys performed. Evidence of gaps in collections are glaring when one references the site localities of collections in the Cal Flora website. The Sierra Nevada foothills are known for their high plant diversity (Barbour, 1990) and serve as an important ecotone between
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Distinctive patterns of plant distribution are evident at the SCICON facility. Riparian habitats associated with Bear Creek show high diversity and are well represented by plants requiring high moisture soils such as alders, sycamores, and willows. South and west facing slopes receive the greatest amount of solar exposure and thus support only plant species well adapted to drought and heat stress. Quercus douglassii (Blue Oak) appears to be the dominant species in this strongly xeric environment. North and east facing slopes have a very diverse representation of trees that include Umbellularia californica (California bay), Quercus wislizeni (live oak) and Aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut). Within these varied environments are found an array of vegetation types listed above that are named after their dominant species. At SCICON Quercus douglasii (Blue Oak) Woodlands are the most dominant. Several species collected over the last few months had not been previously collected by UC Jepson affiliated
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