Hydraulic lift is a passive process in which a plant will bring water from subsoil to topsoil levels through its roots. In this experiment, we compared the soil moisture levels in the area surrounding two different chaparral species C. megacarpus, a shallow rooted nonsprouter, and M. laurina, a deep-rooted obligate sprouter, in order to determine the hydraulic lift patterns of chaparral as they regrow after fire. Furthermore, the C. Megacarpus had died due to the Malibu fire, while the M. Laurina was resprouting. Therefore, using a Hydrosense Soil Water Measurement System, we measured soil moisture percentages, and the results showed there was no significant difference in soil moisture levels between C. megacarpus and M. laurina despite obtaining a p-value of .0721. Furthermore, there was no significant difference between the two plants and their controls implying that hydraulic lift was not taking place. Therefore we concluded that there is no hydraulic lift in either the C. megacarpus and M. laurina.
Holly, Kristi; Sayre, Kelly; and Snow, Anson, "Soil Moisture Adjacent the Roots of Post-fire Ceanothus megacarpus and Malosma laurina" (2008). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 7.