Effects of Climate Change on Local Plants Topic of SNARL Talk Tonight

The Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL) will present its next talk, “Threats of Climate Change to Eastern Sierra Plant Communities,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 23 at the Page Center on the SNARL campus, 1016 Mt. Morrison Rd (talks formerly held at the Green Church, now retired from hosting public events). This lecture will be presented by Dr. Erin Riordan, of the UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Erin Riordan is a postdoc working with the UC NRS, David Ackerly at UC Berkeley, and Phil Rundel at UCLA to evaluate the future role of the NRS under climate change. Her research addresses the potential impacts of future climate change on native California flora and implications for conservation. She received her PhD from UCLA (Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) in 2013, where she modeled the combined impacts of projected climate change and land use change on a highly threatened plant community, California Sage Scrub, in southern California and Northwestern Baja California.

According to Riordan, this century, climate change will dramatically impact the conservation value of California's protected areas, including their capacity to support key species and habitats. "I evaluate the effectiveness of the University of California Natural Reserve System in providing suitable conditions for California's rich biodiversity, focusing on (1) narrowly distributed rare plant species that only occur within the state and (2) dominant plant species that define core habitats across the state, and a loss of which would fundamentally alter the environment of many other species," she said in a news release. "I will talk about the future effectiveness of the NRS 39-reserve network as a whole, highlighting at risk species and reserves. In addition, I'll discuss the potential impacts of future climate change for eastern Sierras forests, focusing on the SNARL and Valentine Camp UC reserves."

The lecture is open to the public.

Take U.S. 395 south past the Green Church junction a few hundred yards, take a right on Mt Morrison Road and continue on the road until you reach the Page Center and parking area. —WG