December 14, 2022: From the Forefront of Botanical Science. Three Cal Poly Humboldt students who have research grants from our Chapter will describe their projects. Kale McNeil is studying the systematic and population genetics of endangered wetland violets in northern California. Caitlyn Allchin is investigating the relocation habitats and assisted migration of the Lassics lupine, an endangered, California serpentine-endemic. Ashley Dickinson is researching the genetic population structure and rate of clonality in the two-flowered pea, another rare serpentine-endemic. In-person at Six Rivers Masonic Lodge, 251 Bayside Rd., Arcata. Refreshments at 7:00 p.m.; program at 7:30 p.m. A Zoom option is available through our website www.northcoastcnps.org.
January 11, 2023: John McRae will give a presentation on botanical areas of the Six Rivers National Forest. John McRae is a Forest Botanist with Six Rivers National Forest. In-person at Six Rivers Masonic Lodge, 251 Bayside Rd., Arcata. Refreshments at 7:00 p.m.; program at 7:30 p.m. A Zoom option is available through our website www.northcoastcnps.org.
January 15, Sunday 1-3 p.m. Botanizing the Hammond Trail Widow White Creek Loop. Along this wonderful McKinleyville trail explore native plants and vegetation. Wildflower and grass enthusiast Gordon Leppig will lead this walk of about one mile along coastal bluffs and through streamside forest, where you will see many common plants. Meet at the west end of Murray Rd. For information: 707-714-4145 or GTL1@humboldt.edu.
Giving a Boost to Rare Plant Dispersal
The topic of assisted dispersal is often associated with climate change. As conditions change, some plants may no longer be competitive, rather they may be suited to conditions farther north where temperatures are cooler, or higher up a mountain slope. Getting to the new environment on their own may be prohibitively slow. Managers are struggling to find solutions to climate change, often without empirical evidence to back up proposed actions, which is why actions such as assisted dispersal can be controversial. However, assisted dispersal can also be used to increase populations of dispersal-limited rare plants. This is currently happening at the Lanphere Dunes. The endangered Menzies’ wallflower is flourishing in its habitat at the north end of the property, but only occupies a fraction of its overall suitable habitat. Although it sometimes uses tumbleweed style dispersal of entire plants, expansion of the population south has been extremely slow, so managers decided to give it an assist. Ten mature plants with their dried fruits intact were harvested from the population and “planted” in an unoccupied area this summer. Monitoring will determine the success of this action; however, it will take more than several years to determine the outcome. Stay posted.