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Claremont Graduate University (2017)

A Vascular Flora of the Kiavah Wilderness, Scodie Mountains, Kern County, California

Gardner, Erika M.

Titre : A Vascular Flora of the Kiavah Wilderness, Scodie Mountains, Kern County, California

Auteur : Gardner, Erika M..

Etablissement de soutenance : Claremont Graduate University

Grade : Master of Science(MS) in Botany 2017

Introduction partiel
Herbarium collections provide invaluable data for researchers studying ecology, biogeography, evolution, systematics and climate change to better understand the patterns of biodiversity and the processes that shape these patterns (Prather 2004). Locating, identifying and mapping plant populations are essential first steps towards understanding the flora of a particular area. After a site is thoroughly explored and documented, newly gathered information can be added to preexisting knowledge to gain a greater understanding of plant diversity at different scales, including regional and continental. Floristic studies are particularly important for understanding the relationship between plants and climate, especially in context of climate change. Here I report the results a floristic study I conducted carried out over three years, all of which were drought years in California. It is projected that California will continue to experience periods of extended drought throughout the rest of the century (Williams et al. 2015). Knowing this, continued study and monitoring of the California flora are vital to predict where native and invasive plant species will persist, increase or decline, and how these plants may be managed.
The Kiavah Wilderness is located ca. 24 km (15 mi) east of Lake Isabella and 24 km (15 mi) west of Ridgecrest in Kern County, California (Fig. 1). The Kiavah Wilderness is of ecological importance because it occurs in a transition zone between two floristic provinces, the Sierra Nevada of the California Floristic Province (higher elevations) and the Mojave Desert of the Desert Province (lower elevations) (Baldwin et al. 2002). The Wilderness covers most of the Scodie Mountains, which is a component range of the southern Sierra Nevada. A small portion of the northern end of the Scodie Mountains lies outside the Wilderness boundary. The Kiavah Wilderness encompasses a total of 354 km2 (137 mi2), of which 160 km2 (62 mi2) are managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and 194 km2 (75 mi2) are managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Sequoia National Forest (SNF), Kern River Ranger District (BLM 2013).
Southwest of the Scodie Mountains, separated by Kelso Valley, are the Piute Mountains, another range of the Sierra Nevada (Fig. 1). The South Fork of the Kern River, Chimney Creek and Cranebrake Creek border the Scodies on the north. To the northeast is the Owens Peak Wilderness, separated from the Scodie Mountains by Walker Pass and Highway 178. A popular off highway vehicle (OHV) recreational area, the Jawbone-Butterbredt Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), is located along the southern and southeastern boundary of the Kiavah Wilderness in the Indian Wells-Searles Valley of the Mojave Desert. Private property parcels abut sections along the north, east and west borders of the Wilderness. The Canebrake Ecological Reserve, managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, is located in Scodie and Cap canyons (CDFW 2016). The Canebrake Ecological Reserve is closed to the public and a permit must be obtained to enter the reserve.

Présentation (PROQUEST)

Page publiée le 8 septembre 2017