Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Science & Environmental Policy


his project studied plant censuses, spatial distribution, percent plant cover and number of flowering heads of the restored and natural areas of Eriogonum spp. on the coastal dunes of the former Fort Ord, located approximately 5 miles north of Monterey, California. It was done for the California State Parks as part of a monitoring project required by the Department of the Army. The dunes were used as rifle ranges for approximately 50 years and are now being cleaned-up and restored to the natural habitats of the coastal dunes. During a lead removal project by the Army to remove contaminated sand, many native habitats were destroyed on the ranges. One of these habitats was the Seacliff (Eriogonum parvifolium) and Coast (Eriogonum latifolium) buckwheat, which are vital to the endangered Smith's blue butterfly (Euphilotus enoptes var. smithi). This butterfly lives its entire life on Eriogonum spp. Studying Eriogonum spp. will determine if the habitat is supporting a population of E. enoptes var. smithi. It was found that the two habitat areas are not equal, therefore the annual monitoring needs to continue. Plant spatial distributions show a clumped distribution of both types of buckwheat in all areas except one. The pattern of plant census showed a higher number of plants in the natural areas except for one. The percent of plant cover was higher in the natural areas, but one restored area was close to the natural area. The numbers of flowering heads were higher in the natural areas. The results of this study will help determine the success of the Army's Habitat Management Plan.


Capstone Project (B.S.) Earth Systems Science & Policy Institute

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