Long Term Plots
Lead project scientists: Richard Cobb and Margaret Metz
Long-term monitoring plots in California coastal forests
Since 2001, our lab has established over eight hundred 500 sq-meter monitoring plots throughout coastal northern California native forests to survey for the presence and ecological impacts of aerial forest Phytophthora species (see map).
In 2007, 2008, and 2009 a subset of these plots were selected for establishment as long term monitoring plots. Detailed long-term data from these plots will allow for assessment of the ecology, disturbance, and forest dynamics related to presence and establishment of aerial forest Phytophthora species in California coastal forests. The long term monitoring plots are grouped into three 75-plot clusters (total of 225 plots) in three regions: Big Sur; Sonoma County/Southern Mendocino County; and the North Coast. Each plot is spatially independent at a minimum distance of 200m from any nearest plot. Throughout these regions, plots are distributed among sites that represent the range of redwood, Douglas-fir-tanoak, coast live oak and mixed oak forest alliances in northern coastal California. If possible, each plot will be sampled every three years, with one regional group completed each spring/summer season. At a minimum, upon each plot visit every tree and shrub will be assessed for pathogen(s) presence, tree/shrub size, health and vigor, including snag decay class for dead standing trees and branches, as well as other pests and diseases. Additionally, a detailed vegetation inventory including rare and/or invasive plant species will be compiled for each plot during each visit. Plots are to be surveyed in perpetuity for this project, providing insights into the ongoing impacts of an invasive pathogen on native forest dynamics that can only be gained through such long-term research.