A Restoration of a Coastal sage Scrub site.
Our most ambitious ecological restoration to date was the 220- acre
Project, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Lompoc, California, U.S.A.
restoration of a coastal sage
scrub/coastal chaparral plant community that was being invaded
primarily by Carpobrotus
edulis, and secondarily by
Ehrharta calycina, both plant species indigenous to South Africa.
Remove the alien species, and
reintroduce the indigenous plant community, without utilizing most
practices, e.g., irrigation,
fertilizer, cages, and soil amendments. Plants (Artemisia californica,
pilularis, Salvia mellifera, Mimulus
aurantiacus, etc.) shown are one and a half years old (Click on
pictures to observe a larger
Biological monitoring revealed a relationship between the distance
from mature shrubs
of the coastal sage scrub/coastal chaparral
plant community, their litter, and populations of alien plant species.
The coastal sage
chaparral plant community can effectively inhibit the establishment of
Carpobrotus edulis, and Ehrharta
calycina, via 60% canopy coverage, and accumulation of their litter.
presence of the immature, set-out
plants, and the indigenous, subshrubs, annuals, and perennials
exhibited no measurable effect
upon the populations of
These results, in this particular case, are consistent with our
observations that maintenance
(suppression of alien, weedy species) until the plant community can
mature and achieve 60%
canopy coverage, is one
major factor vital to the success of an ecological restoration.