This study investigated the abilities of Ceanothus spinosus, or greenbark ceanothus, to recover after a historic drought. This plant is one of the hardiest in the Santa Monica Mountains, providing soil stabilization and nutrients to other organisms in the ecosystem. In a previous investigation done during the drought, it was found that C. spinosus subjects growing in their natural habitat experienced significant dieback, with predawn water potentials falling as low as -7 MPa and native embolisms at an average of 47.17% (Ross et al., 2016). Other parameters tested were stomatal conductance, photosynthetic rate, and chlorophyll fluorescence. Compared to the values found for C. spinosus subjects unaffected by the drought, the health of naturally occurring C. spinosus was significantly worse. To see if the health of C. spinosus had improved since the drought, this investigation was repeated. Fortunately, this study found that C. spinosus subjects affected by drought made a notable recovery just eight months after the drought ended. Water potentials improved significantly, with the highest recorded being at -1.75 MPa, and embolisms decreased by half since last year, with an average of 23.1% (PC. spinosuscan make an effective recovery from this environmental stressor.
Lindley, Katie C.; Smith, Kylie N.; Duchild, Nina R.; Davis, Stephen D.; Smith, Karagan L.; and Cao, Talia A., "Post-Drought Recovery in the Chaparral Shrub Ceanothus spinosus" (2017). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 215.