Justification: Rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are leading to increasing global temperatures and changes in the hydrological cycle (IPCC, 2013). Because such abiotic changes are impacting the distribution of biota across the planet (Parmesan 2006, Chen et al. 2011) and are predicted to influence the distribution of CSS plant species (Riordan & Rundell 2009), bio-monitoring programs must incorporate climate monitoring to identify changes in climate that might be driving observed biotic changes. As such, monitoring of abiotic characteristics is critical to identifying primary factors that influence / shape current differences in community composition and diversity among California Sage Scrub (CSS) sites.

Approach: PRISSM identified multiple abiotic parameters that would complement biological monitoring efforts. These can be separated into two categories based on type of dataset: (1) dynamic datasets that require constant monitoring and often are associated with a weather station (e.g., air and ground temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, rates and type N-deposition), and (2) static datasets, which only need to be collected once but are critical to understanding relationships among sites (e.g., topography, soil type). Because the legacy of land use is also known to influence the structure of CSS communities, it is recommended that managers of CSS fragments document (to the best of their ability) past disturbances and/or land use regimes. Implementations of different aspects of the abiotic monitoring depend on the financial ability and expertise at each institution. As such, we suggest that each field station develop their own strategy for consolidating the information they currently have and develop a stagey for enhancing their abiotic descriptions. Links to appropriate information can be found here:

Bernard Field Station:

  • [Link to Temperature, Humidity & Precipitation Data coming soon!]
  • [Link to Soil Data coming soon!]
  • [Link to Fire History Maps coming soon!]

Voorhis Reserve:

  • [Link to Temperature, Humidity & Precipitation Data coming soon!]

North Etiwanda Preserve: