January-February 2005 CA Grassland Newsletter

1) California Invasive Weeds Day at Capital
2) CNGA Classes
3) Jepson Herbarium Poaceae Class - May 14-15 2005 with Meredith Thomsen
4) Recent Publications

(1)  California Invasive Weeds Day at the Capitol

Is scheduled for Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

** Secretary of Resources Agency Mike Chrisman just confirmed as keynote speaker!

We've got a great morning session with state agency briefings, plus afternoon meetings with state legislators to discuss invasive weed projects. Don't miss this great opportunity to speak with Sacramento decision makers about your work. Event information and the registration form are also posted at  http://www.cal-ipc.org/ -- click on the link for "2005 Invasive Weeds Day at the Capitol" and tell your friends and associates.
If you have further questions, please contact coordinator Wendy West at

2)CNGA Classes:
At this time, information is available for two workshops CNGA is offering for CNGA members, public agency staff, restoration and ecological professionals and members of the general public involved in ecology, restoration, mitigation, development and landscaping. Registrations for each of the classes are handled through the CNGA Administrative Director. Instruction is by volunteer CNGA members with expertise and experience in the subject area, coordinated by the CNGA Workshop committee and Cynthia Harrington, CNGA Educational Coordinator and Program Development consultant.

Southern California Restoration and Revegetation Workshop - March 8 and 9 in the San Diego area. Classes on March 8 will be in Escondido and on March 9 in the District 11 Caltrans office in San Diego. Field experience on March 8 will be on the Santa Rosa Plateau and on March 9 will be on the Otay Mesa. This workshop will feature local presenters with first-hand knowledge of area-specific species, techniques, and examples of Southern California relict sites and restoration sites. Tuition is $275 for members and $310 for nonmembers. This class has a maximum of 60 students.

Identifying and Appreciating Native and Naturalized Grasses of California - the southern exposure - will be taught on April 6 and 7. Wednesday, April 6, is a full day classroom experience taught in Lake Elsinore. Thursday, April 7, is a full day field experience at the Santa Rosa Plateau. Tuition is $175 for members and $210 for nonmembers. This class has a maximum of 30 students.

Registration forms in pdf format can be down loaded from the CNGA website access http://www.cnga.org/  then select the Spring Workshop heading at the top of the page to go to the workshop explanations and select the file you want.  OR reply to this email and I can send the pdf by email attachment or FAX it to you. 

3) Jepson Herbarium Poaceae Course - Openings for May 14-15 course with Meredith Thomsen

May 7 -- 8, 2005

Waiting List Only
Travis Columbus
Poaceae (additional session)
May 14 -- 15, 2005

Meredith Thomsen and Ashley Ratcliffe
Location: Valley Life Sciences Building, UC Berkeley

"I am the grass; I cover all" (Carl Sandburg, Grass). Prominent in plant communities throughout California, the grass family (Gramineae or Poaceae) is the state's second most diverse plant family (after Compositae). A species-rich assemblage, its members include cool-season and warm-season species, annuals and perennials, natives and exotics, and widespread dominants to rare endemics. A better understanding of this ubiquitous and diverse family can be gained through this workshop. Participants will be instructed in detail on the vegetative and reproductive features of grasses. Aspects of anatomy, physiology, ecology, and ethnobotany will also be addressed. Most time will be spent learning to use the identification keys in The Jepson Manual. Special attention will be given to difficult couplets and taxa. In addition, participants will learn how to determine major tribes and common genera by use of diagnostic characteristics. Sunday, there will be a field trip to a serpentine prairie to examine grasses in a natural setting.

Course fee $200/$225. If supported by enrollment, an additional section will be offered at the same location the weekend of May 14 -- 15, 2005. On your registration form, please indicate your first choice of dates by marking a "1" next to the workshop title and your second choice of dates by marking a "2" next to the workshop title. We will notify you of the status at least 60 days prior to the workshop.
Registration information  - http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/regform_05.html


Pu. R., P. Gong, Z Li, and J. Scarborough. 2004. A dynamic algorithm for wildfire mapping with NOAA/AVHRR data. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 13(3). 275-285.



A wildfire-mapping algorithm is proposed based on fire dynamics, called the dynamic algorithm. It is applied to daily NOAA/AVHRR/HRPT data for wildland areas (scrub, chaparral, grassland, marsh, riparian forest, woodland, rangeland and forests) in California for September and October 1999. Daily AVHRR images acquired from two successive days are compared for active fire detection and burn scar mapping. The algorithm consists of four stages: data preparation; hotspot detection; burn scar mapping; and final confirmation of potential burn scar pixels. Preliminary comparisons between the result mapped by the dynamic algorithm and the fire polygons collected by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection through ground survey indicate that the algorithm can track burn scars at different developmental stages at a daily level. The comparisons between wildfire mapping results produced by a modified version of an existing algorithm and the dynamic algorithm also indicate this point. This is the major contribution of this algorithm to wildfire detection methods. The dynamic algorithm requires highly precise registration between consecutive images.



Horz, H., A. Barbrook, C.B. Field, and B.J.M. Bohannan. 2004. Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria respond to multifactorial global change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 101(42). 15136-15141.



Recent studies have demonstrated that multiple co-occurring global changes can alter the abundance, diversity, and productivity of plant communities. Belowground processes, often mediated by soil microorganisms, are central to the response of these communities to global change. Very little is known, however, about the effects of multiple global changes on microbial communities. We examined the response of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), microorganisms that mediate the transformation of ammonium into nitrite, to simultaneous increases in atmospheric CO2, precipitation, temperature, and nitrogen deposition, manipulated on the ecosystem level in a California grassland. Both the community structure and abundance of AOB responded to these simulated global changes. Increased nitrogen deposition significantly altered the structure of the ammonia-oxidizing community, consistently shifting the community toward dominance by bacteria most closely related to Nitrosospira sp.2. This shift was most pronounced when temperature and precipitation were not increased. Total abundance of AOB significantly decreased in response to increased atmospheric CO2. This decrease was most pronounced when precipitation was also increased. Shifts in community composition were associated with increases in nitrification, but changes in abundance were not. These results demonstrate that microbial communities can be consistently altered by global changes and that these changes can have implications for ecosystem function.



DiGregoria, John. 2004. Notes from the field: Restoration at Putah Creek. Grasslands. 14(4). Autumn 2004. 4-5, 15. (No abstract)


Kamansky, Bobby, J.K. Herbert, R.B. Hansen, and C.K. Combs. 2004. Ecological restoration on area C of the James K. Herbert Wetland Prairie Preserve, Tulare County. Grasslands. 14(4). Autumn 2004. 1, 8-10.



Kittelson, P.M. 2004. Sources of variation in insect density on Lupinus arboreus Sims: Effects of environment, source population and plant genotype. American Midland Naturalist. 152: 323-335.



Temporal and spatial variability in herbivory call be influenced by plant genotype, environmental conditions and their interactions. However, few studies correctly control for the relative influence of these factors. Here, I report results from a reciprocal common garden experiment designed to tease apart the effect of local environmental variation and plant genotype on the abundance of four insect species: Dasineura lupini (Felt), D. lupinorum (Gagne), Epinotia infuscana (Walsingham) and Orgyia vetusta (Boisduval). Full-sib/half-sib families of Lupinus arboreus Sims were made within three different natal populations; replicates from each lupine family then were transplanted back into common gardens located in each of the three parental populations. In two separate years I measured how insect density varied between local environments, within a population of related lupine and among the three populations of lupine. For each insect species, local environment influenced density substantially and microsite variation within environments explained a significant amount of variation. Two insect species (E. infuscana and O. vetusta) congregated oil plants originating from the same parental population more than lupine from other populations, while the other two insect species showed this pattern only in specific environments. Even though these insects were differentially abundant oil lupine from the three natal populations, they rarely discriminated among individual genotypes within a population. Thus, insect density was affected by environmental factors unique to each site and partly by genotypes originating from the same natal origin, but rarely by fine-scale differences among genotypes from within one parental population.