University of California

Monitoring shows vegetation change at multiple scales


Adina M. Merenlender
Kerry L. Heise
James W. Bartolome
Barbara H. Allen-Diaz

Authors Affiliations

A.M. Merenlender is Extension Specialist, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management (ESPM), UC Berkeley; K.L. Heise is Botanist and Research Associate, UC Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program, UC Berkeley; J.W. Bartolome is Professor, ESPM, UC Berkeley; B.H. Allen-Diaz is Professor, ESPM, UC Berkeley.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 55(6):42-47. DOI:10.3733/ca.v055n06p42. November 2001.

PDF of full article, Cite this article


Several historical data sets from the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) provide valuable information on vegetation dynamics at multiple spatial and temporal scales. An early botanical survey by Harold Heady and Al Murphy provides a baseline for examining landscape-level changes in species richness and distribution over 50 years. We conducted a floristic survey between 1995 and 1999 and found gains and losses of native and non-native species abundance across the field station. On two sites where sheep were removed in 1958, permanent transects provide valuable information about plant community responses to protection from livestock grazing; in the oak understory, native perennial blue wildrye increased steadily, while in grasslands native purple needlegrass was less abundant after 43 years. On a cleared watershed, originally diverse in hardwood species, we found that only interior live oak and coast live oak were significantly reestablished after 30 years.


Allen BH, Holzman BA, Evett RR. A classification system for California's hardwood rangelands. Hilgardia. 1991. 59(2):1-45.

Bartolome JW, Clawson WJ. Ecological history of the California Mediterranean-type land-scape. 1989a. pp.2-15. Landscape Ecology: Study of Mediterranean Grazed Ecosystems. Proc MAB Symp XVI Int Grassl Congress, Nice, France. Oct 7.

Bartolome JW, Huenecke L, Mooney H. Local temporal and spatial structure. Grassland Structure and Function: California Annual Grassland.. 1989b. Dordrecht, Neth: Kluwer Acad Pub. p. 73-80.

Bartolome JW. Application of herbivore optimization theory to rangelands of the western United States. Ecol Applic. 1993. 3(1):27-9. https://doi.org/10.2307/1941785

Bartolome JW, Gemmill B. Ecological status of Stipa pulchra (Poaceae) in California. Madroñno. 1981. 28(3):172-84.

Brooks CN, Merenlender AM. Determining the pattern of oak woodland regeneration for a cleared watershed in northwest California: A necessary first step for restoration. Restoration Ecol. 2001. 9(1):1-13. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1526-100x.2001.009001001.x

Edwards SW. A Rancholabrean age, latest Pleistocene bestiary for California botanists. Four Seasons. 1996. 10(2):4-34.

Hamilton JG. Changing perceptions of pre-European grasslands in California. Madroñno. 1997. 44:311-33.

Heady HF, Barbour MG, Major J. Valley grassland. Terrestrial Vegetation of California. 1977. NY: Wiley. p. 491-514.

Heady HF, Pitt MD. Reactions of northern California grass-woodland to vegetational type conversions. Hilgardia. 1979. 47(3):51-73.

Heise KL, Merenlender AM. Monitoring a half-century of change in a hardwood rangeland. J Range Manage In press. 55(4):

Knops JMH, Griffin JR, Royalty AC. Introduced and native plants of the Hastings Reservation, central coastal California: A comparison. Biol Conserv. 1995. 71(2):115-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/0006-3207(94)00008-E

McCreary DD. Regenerating range-land oaks in California. UC DANR Pub 21601. Oakiard, CA 2001.

Murphy AH. Watershed management increases rangeland productivity. Cai Ag. 1976. 30(7):16-21.

Murphy AH. Benefits of chaparral improvement to livestock and wildlife. Proc Annu Calif Weed Conf. 1978. 30:84-91.

Murphy AH, Heady HF. Vascular plants of Hopland Field Station, Mendocino County, Calif. Wasmann J Biol. 1983. 41(1–2):53-96.

Nives SL, Tietje WD, Weitkamp WH, Standiford RB technical coordinator. Oak tree planting project. Proceedings of the Symposium on Oak Woodlands and Hardwood Range Management 1991. pp.87-90. General Technical Report PSW-126. Pacific SW Res Sta, USDA Forest Serv. Berkeley, CA.

Swiecki TJ, Bernhardt EA, Drake C. Factors affecting blue oak sapling recruitment. Proceedings of a Symposium on Oak Woodlands: Ecology, Management, and Urban Interface Issues. 1906. pp.157-67. General Technical Report PSW-GTR-160 Pacific SW Res Sta, USDA Forest Serv, San Luis Obispo, CA.

Merenlender A, Heise K, Bartolome J, Allen-Diaz B. 2001. Monitoring shows vegetation change at multiple scales. Hilgardia 55(6):42-47. DOI:10.3733/ca.v055n06p42
Webmaster Email: wsuckow@ucanr.edu