Farewell Field 2017

By Nadav Mouallem with contributions from fellow NPSO/CR interns Abbie Harold and Lucy Keehn When the entire season feels like a never-ending highlight reel, you know it has been a good one. Whether it be sighting owls at dusk atop of Table Rock, whales at sunrise overlooking Coos Bay, or a bobcat in the Tillamook […]

Adventures of an IAE/NPSO Intern

— By Abbie Harold As a Native Plant Society of Oregon Intern with the Conservation Research Program at the Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) we travel to remote corners of Oregon that are home to rare and endangered plants, some of which are endemic to Oregon. Many of the locations we visit are areas of […]

Welcome 2017 Conservation Research Interns!

On April 9, Conservation Research welcomed our new crew of interns: Lucy Keehn, Abbie Harold, and Nadav Mouallem! We have already put them to work, and they have gained valuable experience planting Kincaid’s lupine in Douglas county and monitoring Bradshaw’s lomatium in the West Eugene Wetlands. Lucy graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in […]

Bartonberry outplanting in Hells Canyon

Over the last two years, the Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) has been developing propagation protocols to grow Bartonberry (Rubus bartonianus) from seed and cuttings, so that it may be reintroduced to the historic range, to maintain its historic global distribution. In addition to IAE staff, Matt Bahm, Erin Gray, Denise Giles-Johnson, and Meaghan Petix, […]

A Day in the Dunes

Last week the Conservation Research team headed out to the central Oregon coast for one of our first trips of the 2016 season! We met up with one of our partners, Marty Stein (USFS), and went to four sites within the Suislaw National Forest – Tahkenitch, Overlook South, Overlook North, and Siltcoos (from south to […]

Welcome 2016 IAE/NPSO Interns!

This past week we welcomed our new crew of IAE/NPSO interns: Liza Holtz, Sarai Carter, and Ari Freitag! Liza is absolutely thrilled to be a Conservation Research Intern with IAE! She received a B.S. in Natural Sciences with an emphasis in Biology from the University of Puget Sound (2013). During her undergraduate studies she researched […]

Table Rocks LIPUPU closeup S.Carter

Table Rocks Rocks!

For our first trip of the field season, we visited Table Rocks outside of Medford, Oregon to study Limnanthes pumila ssp. pumila, or dwarf woolly meadowfoam, a threatened endemic species that relies on vernal pool habitat. Table Rocks consists of two plateaus formed by volcanic activity and shaped by erosion. The trails up to the plateaus wind through oak savanna which is home to many different species, including Cooper's hawk, turkey vulture, lark sparrow, and wild turkey that we observed on our hikes. Once you reach the plateaus, you are surrounded by a magnificent wildflower display and a plethora of busy pollinators, and can enjoy a spectacular view of Mount McLoughlin.

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This is a mature dwarf woolly meadowfoam after it has blossomed.

Table Rocks species cheat sheet S.Carter

We monitored plant communities, which involved challenging grass identification.

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The crew on top of Lower Table Rock after a long, steep hike.

Table Rocks Camassia S.Carter

A blanket of camas along the trail.

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A young amateur botanist that we met. He enthusiastically pointed out flowers to his mom!

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A remaining vernal pool at Lower Table Rock. A home to dwarf woolly meadowfoam as well as fairy shrimp, frogs, and diving beetles!

Table Rocks elk grazing A.Frietag

We saw evidence of elk grazing on wild onion and other plants.

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A spectacular view of Mount McLoughlin from Upper Table Rock.

We really enjoyed getting to know each other on our first trip and learning about the vernal pool ecosystems at Table Rocks!

Eager to Cervus (canadensis)

Whilst working on a fragment of coastal prairie in Gearhart, Oregon, we were pleasantly surprised (and alarmed!) by an elk herd that was passing through our work site.  While the cows grazed at a safe distance, two juvenile bulls let curiosity get the better of them and gave us an up-close show.  We were thrilled to see […]

Adieu, adieu, to you and you and you!

In the last few days of the 2015 conservation research field season, there is much to reminisce upon. Over the past four and a half months we have tackled over 19 projects, each week took us to a new site and a new rare plant or ecosystem. We traveled the state from the Pacific coast to the […]

A trip down to the southern Oregon coast!

In August 2015 the IAE Conservation Research crew traveled down to new territory: Coos Bay on the southern Oregon coast! We were investigating the status of both Point Reyes bird’s beak (Cordylanthus maritimus spp. palustris) and Western marsh-rosemary (Limonium californicum). Point Reyes bird’s beak is listed as a federal Species of Concern and Western marsh-rosemary is listed as […]

Conservation Research Adventures to the Desert

In June we said goodbye to our Corvallis western Oregon home and set out for a long day of traveling to Vale, Oregon on the eastern part of the state to monitor Astragalus mulfordiae, or Mulford’s milkvetch. Although the journey was long, it was a beautiful sight to watch the greens of the Cascades turn […]

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Adaptive Restoration Efforts in Willapa Bay!

In June we traveled to the north coast by Astoria, OR and Long Beach, WA to assess the health and restoration potential at several different coastal prairie sites. Three of the five sites were located on land managed by the North Coast Land Conservancy, a non-profit that tackles conservation projects from the Columbia River south to Lincoln City. The other two sites are located on land owned by the National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The ultimate goal of this project is to evaluate the effects of adaptive restoration techniques on coastal prairie. The results of this project will provide useful information for future restoration efforts of coastal prairie, which is native habitat for the Oregon silverspot butterfly. In order to research the best adaptive management methods for prairie restoration, three techniques and a control were established: herbicide, soil inversion, and soil removal. The success of each restoration method is evaluated by collecting plant community data in all research plots every year. Within each plot we estimated percent cover of all plants occurring in four square meters. The plot photos are pictured below:

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Control: These plots are established without any treatments but are exposed to the same conditions (weather, climate, herbivory, etc.) to create a basis for comparison with other treatments. Photo credit: Emma MacDonald

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Topsoil removal: The entire nutrient rich top layer (essentially all organic material) was excavated from these plots leaving a sandy nutrient poor layer for new plants to colonize. Photo credit: Connor Whitaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Topsoil Inversion: Vegetation and soil in these plots were turned over so they mimicked dune-soil conditions where nutrient rich soil layers (topsoil) move under or over nutrient poor (sandy) layers over time. Photo credit: Connor Whitaker

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Herbicide application: Glyphosate was applied to these plots to assess the effect herbicide has on native plant community composition by exterminating exotic species. Photo credit: Connor Whitaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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View of Surf Pines study site: From a distance, the experimental design and all the treatments are shown. Photo credit: Emma MacDonald

Look for more information on these study sites and coastal prairie restoration efforts in a future edition of the Native Plant Society of Oregon's Bulletin!