SURF

Dylan Stover

Hydrological controls on the distribution and dispersal of bladderpod shrubs

Plant communities respond to disturbances in many ways; with the increase in disturbance events in California such as fires and droughts, these community responses have increasingly led to unexpected shifts in dominant plant species that negatively affect their ecosystems through each species ecosystem services. In a drought and fire prone place such as Tejon Ranch in Californias central valley, it is vital for the lands managers to understand every plants response to disturbances. My project focuses on a native Californian shrub that, though common on the ranch, has not yet been studied extensively. Peritoma arborea var. globosa (Bladderpod) exhibits a strangely even, or uniform, distribution across the Tejon Ranch landscape; some studies have assumed this dispersal to be statistically uniform without proving it. I hypothesize that we will see a statistically significant uniformity in the distribution of this plant. We will aim to explain any hydrological, allelopathic, or topographic factors that may affect the species dispersal and distribution characteristics. Understanding the processes involved in this shrubs dispersal will aid in the management and protection of the species and the grasslands it is a part of.

Message to Sponsor

Thank you to the Rose Hills Foundation for funding my summer research! This experience was invaluable; it confirmed my passions for range ecology and helped me find what I truly want to study within this field. This fellowship has taught me so much, and I can't wait to use what I've learned to keep growing and learning.
  • Major: Molecular Environmental Biology
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Independent
  • Mentor: Luke Macaulay