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Title: Final Report “Physiological, demographic, competitive and biogeochemical controls on the response of California’s ecosystems to environmental change”

The Loma Ridge Global Change Experiment is a large, well-replicated water and nitrogen input manipulation in the Santa Ana Mountain foothills that operated with DOE support from 2006 to 2015. The experiment considers the effects of increased and decreased water input and increased N input on two adjacent ecosystem types: California Annual Grassland (GL), which is dominated by exotic, Eurasian grasses and forbs, and Coastal Sage Shrubland (CSS), which is dominated by native, drought deciduous, perennial shrubs. The experiment proceeded in two phases: "Phase I Severe treatment", and "Phase II Return to ambient". Phase I showed very rapid change in species composition or ANPP with altered water or N input (low resistance), whereas Phase II showed a very rapid return to initial conditions once ambient water or N input were restored (high resilience). The severe drought treatment killed most of the shrubs in the dry plots and opened the canopy to herbaceous species, but this damage was ephemeral, and the shrubland community is recovering through the mechanisms and patterns that more typically mediate recovery from crown fire. The pattern of low resistance and high resilience carries implications for other "global change experiments", which have often also seen large and rapidmore » treatment effects (low resistance), but have less frequently considered the subsequent recovery or resilience of the system.« less
  1. Univ. of California, Irvine, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of California, Irvine, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States