Posts Tagged: biodiversity
When Al Murphy first took the reins at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) back in the 1950s, he had the joy of listening to California red-legged frogs living in a couple of perennial ponds. Maybe it was the frog chorus or just the rarity of year-round water that made Al and his staff decide to keep the sheep out and declare the ponds a biological area. Despite the designation as a biological area, the ponds have lost a good deal of biodiversity since Al's time.
The native frogs took a beating thanks to bullfrogs and exotic fish such as large-mouth bass that were introduced for sport fishing and by the time Kevin Lunde did his Ph.D. on chorus frogs at HREC in 2011, there were no native frogs to be found in the ponds. Also, by removing grazing and the use of fire to manage the rangelands surrounding the ponds, tule reeds dominate the pond's edge and invasive plants such as vetch spread across the higher ground.
The recent periods of drought are devastating for most of California's ecosystems, but were good news for the ponds. They went completely dry for the first time in recorded history, and the largemouth bass died off. The long, dry period also puts us at an advantage for bullfrog eradication while the habitat for the species is limited. As part of the restoration efforts, HREC staff removed some of the bullrush and community volunteers along with members from the California Conservation Corps spent the day translocating spike rush plants from nearby locations to the recently cleared areas along the edge of the pond to provide additional warm, shallow sunning areas for native amphibians.
Only time will tell if the spike rush takes hold and, in the meantime, we hope volunteers will return to help get rid of some bullfrogs. If we can keep the bass out and the bullfrogs under control, we can look forward to a time when red-legged frogs can safely return to HREC.
Thanks, HREC staff and GrizzlyCorps member Mona Latil-Quinn, for your help.
Nematodes! The display of nematodes (aka "roundworms") at the 11th annual UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day, held Sunday, March 6...
Three nematologists kept busy at their booth at the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day. In front is coordinator Shahid Siddique, assistant professor, and his doctoral students Pallavi Shakya (nearest him) and Alison Coomer. In the back (far right) is Rob Blundell, not part of the lab, but who assisted. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Nematologist Shahid Siddique, assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, shows nematodes to curious visitors. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
UC Davis doctoral student and nematologist Pallavi Shakya answers questions about nematodes. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Doctoral student and nematologist Alison Coomer fields questions from the crowd. At far right is scientist Rob Blundell, who assisted. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
If you attended the 11th annual UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day last Sunday, March 6 in the UC Davis Conference Room or took a side trip to...
Insect enthusiast James Heydon (front) and scientist Ben Maples (back), a UC Davis entomology graduate who works at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, show insects at the Bohart Museum of Entomology on Sunday, March 6 during the 11th annual UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Hands cradled stick insects in the Bohart Museum of Entomology/Jason Bond lab booth at the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ever held a millipede? It was the first time for many visitors at the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day. The millipede exhibits were from the Jason Bond lab. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
BioDivDay is Sunday. March 6 at the UC Davis Conference Center: Can't wait to see you! That's the message the organizers of the 11th...
The wonder of a stick insect, aka walking stick, at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A juvenile root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) penetrates a tomato root. (USDA Photo, Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Are you ready to meet awesome "Annie" at the 11th annual UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day on Sunday, March 6? You won't want to cuddle her,...
Doctoral candidate Lacie Newton collected this scorpion, Centruroides vittatus, at the Big Bend National Park in Texas. (Photo by Lacie Newton)
Doctoral candidate Lacie Newton collected this tarantula, Aphonopelma chalcodes, from the Superstition Mountains near Phoenix. (Photo by Lacie Newton)