WRA Botanists Lead Serpentine Ecology Workshop at LandPaths’ Bohemia Ecological Preserve

Top: LandPaths workshop group; Bottom right: Tanner Harris; Bottom left: Aaron Arthur

Top: LandPaths workshop group; Bottom right: Tanner Harris; Bottom left: Aaron Arthur

On May 6, 2016, WRA Botanist Tanner Harris and former WRA Botanist Aaron Arthur led a serpentine ecology workshop at the 1,000-acre Bohemia Ecological Preserve located near Occidental, California.  Due to their unique physical and chemical properties, serpentine soils are known to harbor unique floras often with a number of rare and endangered plants.  Bohemia Ecological Preserve, a LandPaths property, contains large expanses of serpentine soils that are home to two federally listed plant species: Pennell’s bird’s beak (Cordylanthus tenuis ssp. capillaris) and Baker’s manzanita (Arctostaphylos bakeri ssp. bakeri).  The workshop is a 4-hour crash course in plate tectonics, geology, soil science, plant ecology, and conservation biology, each as they relate to serpentine soils.  The workshop starts at the center of the Earth and moves up through the layers, touching on major processes and concepts along the way and culminating in a broad view of serpentine ecology.  The workshop is open to the public and is offered annually–look for details on next year’s workshop on the LandPaths website.