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Population dynamics of vernal pool plants

Mather transect

A transect within a vernal pool studied by visiting scientist Nancy Emery

California vernal pools are rapidly disappearing on both local and regional scales. Vernal pool ecosystems contain a large number of endemic species, many of which are rapidly declining. Potential sources of this decline include habitat loss and fragmentation. The species that inhabit vernal pools exhibit complicated population dynamics, yet quantitative analysis of this population loss has hardly been done on vernal pool systems.

The challenges posed by the conservation of vernal pool organisms exemplify problems at the cutting edge of ecological theory: the structure and function of metapopulations, and the science and practice of restoration. Over spring and summer 2007, CLIMB students studied vernal pool systems, modelled the dynamics of a vernal pool plant, and subsequently hosted a symposium on vernal pool systems.

  • Population Ecology in Vernal Pool Systems: Implications for Management and Restoration
    Thursday, 20 September 2007
    Plant and Environmental Sciences 3001, UC Davis

      This one day workshop, sponsored by the National Science Foundation's UMB program and hosted by the 2006-2007 CLIMB cohort, focused on theoretical and empirical studies of the spatial and temporal dynamics of plants and animals that live in California vernal pools. The aim was to assess the state of the art in modeling approaches and empirical studies of vernal pools as a means of improving the management and restoration of these threatened ecosystems.

      For more information, please contact Carole Hom, clhom at ucdavis dot edu

    download symposium program

  • manuscript: Modeling the population dynamics of a vernal pool plant: the effects of habitat fragmentation, conservation and restoration on population persistence and abundance (in preparation)