Differential Survival of Chaparral Shrub Species in Response to Severe Drought

Document Type

Research Poster

Publication Date



In this experiment, we examined how the plants in the Santa Monica Mountains are responding to the driest period in recorded history for California. Our hypothesis was that plant species with the deepest roots would have highest survivorship. We thought this because deep-rooted shrubs will have greater access to soil moisture. This hypothesis was tested by collecting data on plant survival, in a mixed chaparral stand, containing eleven species, growing in the Green Valley Preserve off of Stunt road, in the Santa Monica Mountains. The chaparral stand was 21 years old, having last burned in 1993 (Old Topanga Canyon Fire). In the end, we discovered that our hypothesis was supported. Our data indicated that deep-rooted species had significantly higher survivorship during severe drought than shallow rooted species.

This document is currently not available here.