Response of Arnica dealbata to climate change, nitrogen deposition, and fire
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Predicted changes in climate and increasing nitrogen deposition are likely to have significant impacts on species that have limited distributions or are already experiencing diminished population size. Arnica dealbata (A. Gray, Asteraceae), a listed sensitive species in Yosemite National Park, is endemic to California and has limited distribution within the park boundaries. The objective of this research was to examine the effects of altered precipitation resulting from climate change, increasing nitrogen deposition resulting from pollution, and prescribed fire on A. dealbata. A. dealbata cover significantly increased with increasing snowpack and prescribed fire. Increasing nitrogen deposition negatively affected cover. Our results suggest Yosemite’s A. dealbata populations can thrive even under a changing climate if prescribed fire is frequently applied coupled with increased moisture availability.
KeywordsClimate change Mixed-conifer Sierra Nevada
We would like to thank Jan van Wagtendonk from the USGS and Kara Paintner from the NPS for assistance with project establishment, Mike Beasley and Yosemite Helitack for implementing the burn treatments, Jason Jimenez, Don Stevens, and Kevin Tucker for help with data collection, and the USFS PSW Sierra Nevada Research Center for providing funding for this project.
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