The loss of deciduous oak woodlands to native conifer encroachment is a major conservation concern in California, resulting in associated losses of wildlife habitat, traditional uses, biodiversity, and other ecosystem services. These concerns – compounded by development pressures, evolving understanding of fire’s role in California landscapes, and health threats like sudden oak death – have drawn increasing attention in recent years, and conservation and restoration efforts have gained momentum. However, efforts are complicated by a paucity of information on the rate and extent of conifer encroachment, successional dynamics, and trajectories of oak regeneration and conifer recruitment in a changing climate. Landowners, policymakers, conservation groups, and agencies have looked to UCCE for scientific guidance and landowner cooperation.
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