In our experiment, we investigated the post-fire competition between native Ceanothus spinosus and exotic grasses in low and high-density fuel sites. We hypothesized that C. spinosus seedlings in the high-density fuel site would be larger and more numerous than seedlings in the low-density fuel site, due to differences in competition from exotics. Our results showed that there was no significant difference in seedling height of C. spinosus in the high-density fuel site (5.33 ± 0.55 cm) and in the low-density fuel site (4.31 ± 0.51 cm). There was also no significant difference in the average number of seedlings in the high-density fuel site compared to the low-density fuel site (7.93 ± 1.04). However, Leaf Area Index (LAI) in the high-density fuel site was lower ( 0.44 ± 0.03) than the LAI in low-density fuel sites (1.90 ± 1.9), which indicated that although initially, C. spinosus did not face competition from exotics, the rapid overgrowth of the exotics will likely out-compete C. spinosus in the future.
Carter, Katarina and Duchild, Nina, "Post-Fire Competition Between Native Ceanothus spinosus and Exotic Grasses" (2019). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 168.