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!

Microclimates and Mustard

For much of June, Connor Whitaker, from the CR intern group, has been working closely on projects with Erin Gray and Matt Bahm. Erin and Connor spent a week monitoring an experiment that investigates the effects of microclimate on Kincaid’s lupine (Lupinus oreganus); following this, Matt and Connor spent two weeks near the John Day National Monument, […]

Welcome 2015 IAE/NPSO Interns!

Here in the CR department we are starting to wake up from our winter hibernations, shake the dust off, and get to work preparing for our 2015 field season. We are excited to have Emma MacDonald back again for another season with us as our biological technician and crew leader. We are also eager to […]

A goodbye to our crewmates, Tara and Emma

It’s official! The temperatures have plummeted and plants have senesced for the year, so the field season has come to a close. For the permanent staff here at IAE, one of the greatest (and hardest) parts of our job is getting to know, (and then say goodbye to) the phenomenal people that serve as our […]

Rubus bartonianus (Bartonberry)

Say hello to one of our newest species of interest here at IAE, Rubus bartonianus (Bartonberry, RUBA). This diminutive little berry is a member of the genus Rubus, which encompasses a wide variety of aggregate fruiting berries such as blackberries, raspberries, marionberries, and salmon berries (to name just a few). Rubus bartonianus grows exclusively on the […]

Umpqua green gentian likes it cold…

Frasera umpquaensis. Photo credit: Denise Giles-Johnson. Our field 2014 season slowly came to a close as the mercury rose and plants began to senesce. Luckily, we have managed to get a little relief from the heat as we studied Frasera umpquensis in the Cascade foothills near Cottage Grove, Oregon. Also known as the Umpqua green gentian, […]

Goodbye, Good Luck, and Good Riddance

As the field season comes to a close we say goodbye to our Conservation Research interns Amy and Suzanne. The Institute for Applied Ecology relies heavily on their interns during the summer to complete all their field work on time (before the plants senesce), as well as data entry, and greenhouse work. Our interns are […]

Let’s hear it for the birds

After the long hours of staring at the ground, it’s nice to give that neck a stretch and look up! In this weeks’ blog, I (Amy) want to give a shout out to those little flying machines that have been serenading us with sweet melodies during our long work days. American goldfinches perched near a field […]

Calochortus coxii- Crinite Mariposa Lily

Members of the genus Calochortus, more commonly known as mariposa lilies, are often considered overlooked gems of forested and grassland ecosystems. These diminutive lilies are found along the North American Pacific coast, from Southern Canada to Central America. Species can vary greatly in both appearance and habit. Calochortus coxii. Photo credit: Emma MacDonald Calochortus coxii, […]

Snapshots of the season

This month has been a busy one! With all of the projects that we have to tackle, there just isn’t time to write about each one. So for this week’s post, here are some snapshots from our busy month of surveys and monitoring. We may talk more about some of these projects later on–but for now, enjoy […]