San Joaquin Desert #phenology update

An excellent post from near (and at one) of the sites within the San Joaquin Desert gradient that Alex and others study was written by the director of the Tejon Ranch. The Cuyama Valley where I have been leading some field research on the capacity for foundation plant species to buffer global change is about in the middle of the extended gradient we work on from Panoche Hills Ecological Reserve to the Mojave.

The phenology was incredibly variable from site to site within the Cuyama Valley. We did not pick up an elevation or aspect signal to explain the variation from emergent and established plants to individuals nearing senescence. Apparently, prolonged drought and very sporadic rains even for desert ecosystems have introduced considerable micro-environmental variation.

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Whilst in other spots, within just a few miles, same species, similar micro-environmental strata, we had these glorious showings!

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Over at Carrizo National Monument, there were similar sets of patterns from full flower to early senescence.