The hypothesis of this research and experiment is that Malosma laurina is better adapted to drought than Ceanothus megacarpus due to its adaptation of deep roots. This addressed the question of which plants are better adapted to drought and by which adaptations are they superior. We decided to choose these two types of chaparral due to their differences in adaptations: Malosma laurina having deep roots and Ceanothus megacarpus utilizing cavitation resistance. Our method of investigation was to study the findings of scientific journal articles and to conduct our own experiment involving the mortality of Malosma laurina on the Pepperdine University campus (Figure 2). It is important to note that only Malosma laurina was tested, because there was a lack of Ceanothus megacarpus due to previous fires. With our experiment, we also created a sub-hypothesis, which stated that the mortality rate of the Malosma laurina would increase with the increase in elevation. We compared the results of the experiment to the mortality rates presented by Hannah Dario (Figure 1). Our results validated our hypothesis, and proved that the deep roots of Malosma laurina was the dominant plant adaptation to drought. Our sub-hypothesis was also proven correct through the data collected from our experiment (Figure 2). Overall, our research and experiment provided valuable information on plant adaptations and the effects of severe drought.
Berrios, Stefano; Francisco, Stefani; and Kim, Olivia, "Drought-Induced Mortality in Malosma Iaurina and Ceanothus megacarpus in Response to California's Changing Climate" (2014). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 101.