Old-growth features include diverse tree-related structures that provide diverse wildlife habitat that increases the biodiversity of the forested ecosystem. The concept of tree structure includes multi-layered canopies and canopy gaps, greatly varying tree heights and diameters. Old-growth forests are valuable, and logging of these forests has been a point of contention between the logging industry and environmentalists. Old-growth forests tend to have trees and standing dead trees, multi-layered canopies with gaps that result from the deaths of individual trees. Depending on the forest, this may take anywhere from a century to several millennia, hardwood forests of the eastern United States can develop old-growth characteristics in one or two generations of trees, or 150–500 years. In British Columbia, old growth is defined as 120 to 140 years of age in the interior of the province where fire is a frequent and natural occurrence. In British Columbia’s coastal rainforests, old growth is defined as more than 250 years.
In Australia, eucalypt trees rarely exceed 350 years of age due to frequent fire disturbance, Forest types have very different development patterns, natural disturbances and appearances. Levels of biodiversity may be higher or lower in old-growth forests compared to that in second-growth forests, depending on circumstances, environmental variables. Logging in old-growth forests is an issue in many parts of the world. Excessive logging reduces biodiversity, affecting not only the old-growth forest itself, a forest in old-growth stage has a mix of tree ages, due to a distinct regeneration pattern for this stage. New trees regenerate at different times from other, because each one of them has different spatial location relative to the main canopy. The mixed age of the forest is an important criterion in ensuring that the forest is a stable ecosystem in the long term. A climax stand that is uniformly aged becomes senescent and degrades within a relatively short time-period to result in a new cycle of forest succession, uniformly aged stands are a less stable ecosystem.
Forest canopy gaps are essential in creating and maintaining mixed-age stands, some herbaceous plants only become established in canopy openings, but persist beneath an understory. Openings are a result of death due to small impact disturbances such as wind, low-intensity fires. Because old-growth forest is structurally diverse it provides higher-diversity habitat than forests in other stages, sometimes higher biological diversity can be sustained in old-growth forest, or at least a biodiversity that is different from other forest stages. The characteristic topography of much old-growth forest consists of pits and mounds, mounds are caused by decaying fallen trees, and pits by the roots pulled out of the ground when trees fall due to natural causes, including being pushed over by animals
Stanislaus National Forest
Stanislaus National Forest is a United States national forest which manages 898,099 acres of land in four counties in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California. It was established on February 22,1897, making it one of the oldest national forests and it was named after the Stanislaus River. Forest headquarters are located in Sonora, there are local ranger district offices in Groveland, Hathaway Pines, Mi-Wuk Village, and Pinecrest. The Emigrant Wilderness is located entirely within its boundaries, portions of the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness, including the Dardanelles Cone, and the Mokelumne Wilderness are within the Stanislaus National Forest. It contains 78 lakes, and 811 miles of rivers and streams and it has 1,100 miles of non-motorized trails, and 2,859 miles of roads,188 miles of which are paved. The Forest contains some 139,000 acres of old growth, which includes Lodgepole Pine, Jeffrey Pine, the proximity of the Stanislaus National Forest to the San Francisco Bay area makes it a popular recreation destination.
The stunning volcanic and granite formations in the wilderness are somewhat marred by the cattle grazing. Exceptional whitewater rafting and kayaking can be found in the wild and scenic Tuolumne River, other beautiful rivers flowing out of the Stanislaus include the Clavey River the Stanislaus River, and the Merced River along the southern boundary. Two ski resorts Dodge Ridge and Bear Valley operate here under a use permit. The Rim Fire was ignited on the Stanislaus National Forest in August 2013, the fire was named after the Rim of the World Vista on California State Route 120, where the fire was initially reported
The Mokelumne River /məˈkʌləmni/ is a 95-mile -long river in northern California in the United States. The river flows west from a portion of the central Sierra Nevada into the Central Valley and ultimately the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. Together with its tributary, the Cosumnes River, the Mokelumne drains 2,143 square miles in parts of five California counties. Measured to its farthest source at the head of the North Fork, in its lower course, the Mokelumne is used heavily for irrigation and provides water for the east San Francisco Bay Area through the Mokelumne Aqueduct. Several major tributaries of the river have been developed for the generation of hydroelectric power, the name is Plains Miwok and is constructed from moke, meaning fishnet, and -umne, a suffix meaning people of. The town of Mokelumne Hill was named for the river in about 1850, the Mokelumne is formed by the confluence of several forks that rise in the central Sierra Nevada in the Stanislaus National Forest. The 62-mile North Fork is the largest, originating at Highland Lakes at an elevation of 8,584 feet, from its source it flows north west for 28 miles to Salt Springs Reservoir.
Below Salt Springs it receives the Bear River from the north, the lower portion of the North Fork defines the border between Amador and Calaveras Counties. The 28-mile Middle Fork rises at 6,800 feet on the west side of Bailey Ridge and it flows generally west, past Wilseyville and West Point, to its confluence with the North Fork. The confluence of the North and Middle Forks forms the Mokelumne River proper, the main stem flows west-southwest past Mokelumne Hill into Pardee Reservoir, formed by the 345-foot -high Pardee Dam. Below Pardee the river flows directly into Camanche Reservoir, formed by Camanche Dam, the entire stretch of the Mokelumne between the forks and a point just above Camanche Dam defines the Amador—Calaveras county line, below here, it flows westwards into San Joaquin County. The Camanche Dam is the first non-passable barrier for anadromous fish, the river receives Dry Creek from the east near Thornton and shortly afterwards receives its major tributary, the Cosumnes River, from the northeast.
At this point, the river has reached its northernmost point about 25 miles south of Sacramento, about 7 miles downstream the branches rejoin, and two miles below this point the Mokelumne flows into the San Joaquin River. The Mokelumne River watershed drains 2,143 square miles in parts of Alpine, Calaveras, San Joaquin, and Sacramento Counties. Elevations range from sea level at the confluence with the San Joaquin River to 10,400 feet at the crest of the Sierra Nevada in the headwaters of the North Fork. The Mokelumne watershed divide borders the basins of the American River on the north, the Calaveras and Stanislaus rivers to the south, and the Carson River to the east. The American and Stanislaus rivers, like the Mokelumne, drain westwards into the Central Valley, drainage within the Mokelumne watershed generally occurs from east to west with all of the perennial streams originating in the Sierra Nevada. The Mokelumne River and its headwater forks above Lodi drain the southernmost part of the basin, the part of the basin above Pardee Dam is referred to as the Upper Mokelumne River Basin and drains about 550 square miles, or 25. 7% of the total watershed
Tahoe National Forest
Tahoe National Forest is a U. S. National Forest located in the state of California, northwest of Lake Tahoe. It includes the 8, 587-foot peak of Sierra Buttes, near Sierra City and it is located in parts of six counties. In descending order of forestland area they are Sierra, Nevada, Plumas, the forest has a total area of 871,495 acres. Its headquarters is in Nevada City, there are local ranger district offices in Camptonville, Foresthill and Truckee. Also within its borders is the National Wilderness Preservation Systems Granite Chief Wilderness, the Forest Reserves were established in 1893 to halt uncontrolled exploitation. In California the Sierra Forest Reserve consisted of over 4,000,000 acres, thus began the United States National Forest System. The timber, water and mineral resources of the forests are for the use of the people. + Tahoe was originally established as the Lake Tahoe Forest Reserve on April 13,1899. The name was changed to Tahoe on October 3,1905, a 2002 report estimated nearly 84,000 acres of old growth in the Forest.
The old growth includes Coast Douglas-fir, Ponderosa Pine, White Fir, Sugar Pine, California Incense Cedar, California Black Oak, Lodgepole Pine, and Red Fir. A number of species of weeds have been recorded in the Forest, including thistles, mustards, daisies, brooms. Placer County Big Trees Grove is a giant sequoia located in the American River watershed of Tahoe National Forest. It is known as a giant sequoia grove, and is the northern most grove. The grove contains six old growth giant sequoias, two of which are considered giant size
California is the most populous state in the United States and the third most extensive by area. Located on the western coast of the U. S, California is bordered by the other U. S. states of Oregon and Arizona and shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California. Los Angeles is Californias most populous city, and the second largest after New York City. The Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nations second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, California has the nations most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The Central Valley, an agricultural area, dominates the states center. What is now California was first settled by various Native American tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its war for independence.
The western portion of Alta California was organized as the State of California, the California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom. If it were a country, California would be the 6th largest economy in the world, fifty-eight percent of the states economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5 percent of the states economy, the story of Calafia is recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián, written as a sequel to Amadis de Gaula by Spanish adventure writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. The kingdom of Queen Calafia, according to Montalvo, was said to be a land inhabited by griffins and other strange beasts. This conventional wisdom that California was an island, with maps drawn to reflect this belief, shortened forms of the states name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA.
Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000. The Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their organization with bands, villages. Trade and military alliances fostered many social and economic relationships among the diverse groups, the first European effort to explore the coast as far north as the Russian River was a Spanish sailing expedition, led by Portuguese captain Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, in 1542. Some 37 years English explorer Francis Drake explored and claimed a portion of the California coast in 1579. Spanish traders made unintended visits with the Manila galleons on their trips from the Philippines beginning in 1565
El Dorado County, California
El Dorado County, officially the County of El Dorado, is a county in the U. S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 181,058, El Dorado County is part of the Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is in the historic Gold Country in the Sierra Nevada, El Dorado Countys population has grown as Greater Sacramento has expanded into the region. The County of El Dorado was one of Californias original 27 counties created effective February 18,1850 and its name is derived from the Spanish meaning the gilded/golden. The final segments of the Pony Express mail route ran through El Dorado County until its replacement with the service in 1861. Mother lode James W. S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 1,786 square miles. The racial makeup of El Dorado County was 156,793 White,1,409 African American,2,070 Native American,6,297 Asian,294 Pacific Islander,7,278 from other races, and 6,917 from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21,875 persons, the largest growth in the county has come in El Dorado Hills where the population grew by 24,092 residents to a total of 42,108 since 2000.
As of the census of 2000, there were 156,299 people,58,939 households, the population density was 91 people per square mile. There were 71,278 housing units at a density of 42 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 89. 7% White,0. 5% Black or African American,1. 0% Native American,2. 1% Asian,0. 1% Pacific Islander,3. 6% from other races, and 3. 0% from two or more races. 9. 3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race,14. 9% were of German,13. 4% English,10. 3% Irish,6. 6% Italian and 6. 6% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 90. 5% spoke English and 6. 5% Spanish as their first language,20. 1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7. 3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the family size was 3.04. In the county, the population was out with 26. 1% under the age of 18,6. 8% from 18 to 24,27. 8% from 25 to 44,26. 9% from 45 to 64. The median age was 39 years, for every 100 females there were 99.5 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.3 males, the 2000 census states that the median income for a household in the county was $51,484, and the median income for a family was $60,250. Males had an income of $46,373 versus $31,537 for females
Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii
In Oregon and Washington its range is continuous from the Cascades crest west to the Pacific Coast Ranges and Pacific Ocean. In California, it is found in the Klamath and California Coast Ranges as far south as the Santa Lucia Mountains with a stand as far south as the Purisima Hills. In the Sierra Nevada it ranges as far south as the Yosemite region and it occurs from near sea level along the coast to 1,800 metres in the California Mountains. Further inland, coast Douglas-fir is replaced by Rocky Mountain or interior Douglas-fir, interior Douglas-fir intergrades with coast Douglas-fir in the Cascades of northern Washington and southern British Columbia. Coast Douglas-fir is the second-tallest conifer in the world, and the third-tallest of all trees, Coast Douglas-fir commonly lives more than 500 years and occasionally more than 1,000 years. The bark on trees is thin, gray. On mature trees, it is thick and corky, the shoots are brown to olive-green, turning gray-brown with age, though not as smooth as fir shoots, and finely pubescent with short dark hairs.
The buds are a distinctive narrow conic shape, 4–8 mm long. Unlike the Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir, coast Douglas-fir foliage has a noticeable sweet fruity-resinous scent, the mature female seed cones are pendent, 5–8 centimetres long, 2–3 cm broad when closed, opening to 4 cm broad. They are produced in spring, green at first, maturing orange-brown in the autumn 6–7 months later, the seeds are 5–6 mm long and 3–4 mm broad, with a 12–15 mm wing. The male cones are 2–3 cm long, dispersing yellow pollen in spring, in forest conditions, old individuals typically have a narrow, cylindric crown beginning 20–40 metres above a branch-free trunk. Self-pruning is generally slow and trees retain their lower limbs for a long period, open-grown trees typically have branches down to near ground level. It often takes 70–80 years for the trunk to be clear to a height of 5 metres and 100 years to be clear to a height of 10 metres, appreciable seed production begins at 20–30 years in open-grown coast Douglas-fir.
Seed production is irregular, over a 5-7 year period, stands usually produce one crop, a few light or medium crops. Even during heavy seed crop years, only about 25 percent of trees in closed stands produce a number of cones. Each cone contains around 25 to 50 seeds, seed size varies, average number of cleaned seeds varies from 70-88/g. Seeds from the portion of coast Douglas-firs range tend to be larger than seed from the south. Some roots are found in organic soil layers or near the mineral soil surface
Poaceae or Gramineae is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as grasses. Poaceae includes the cereal grasses and the grasses of natural grassland and cultivated lawns, Grasses have stems that are hollow except at the nodes and narrow alternate leaves borne in two ranks. The lower part of each leaf encloses the stem, forming a leaf-sheath, with ca 780 genera and around 12,000 species, Poaceae are the fifth-largest plant family, following the Asteraceae, Orchidaceae and Rubiaceae. Grasslands such as savannah and prairie grasses are dominant are estimated to constitute 40. 5% of the land area of the Earth, excluding Greenland. Grasses are an important part of the vegetation in many habitats, including wetlands, forests. Though commonly called grasses, seagrasses and sedges fall outside this family, the rushes and sedges are related to the Poaceae, being members of the order Poales, but the seagrasses are members of order Alismatales. The name Poaceae was given by John Hendley Barnhart in 1895, based on the tribe Poeae described in 1814 by Robert Brown, the term is derived from the Ancient Greek πόα.
Grasses include some of the most versatile plant life-forms, a cladogram shows subfamilies and approximate species numbers in brackets, Before 2005, fossil findings indicated that grasses evolved around 55 million years ago. Recent findings of grass-like phytoliths in Cretaceous dinosaur coprolites have pushed this back to 66 million years ago. In 2011, revised dating of the origins of the rice tribe Oryzeae suggested a date as early as 107 to 129 Mya, a multituberculate mammal with grass-eating adaptations seems to suggest that grasses were already around at 120 mya. This separation occurred within the short time span of about 4 million years. Grass leaves are always alternate and distichous, and have parallel veins. Each leaf is differentiated into a lower sheath hugging the stem, the leaf blades of many grasses are hardened with silica phytoliths, which discourage grazing animals, such as sword grass, are sharp enough to cut human skin. A membranous appendage or fringe of hairs called the ligule lies at the junction between sheath and blade, preventing water or insects from penetrating into the sheath, flowers of Poaceae are characteristically arranged in spikelets, each having one or more florets.
The spikelets are further grouped into panicles or spikes, the part of the spikelet that bears the florets is called the rachilla. A spikelet consists of two bracts at the base, called glumes, followed by one or more florets, a floret consists of the flower surrounded by two bracts, one external—the lemma—and one internal—the palea. The flowers are usually hermaphroditic—maize being an important exception—and anemophilous or wind-pollinated, the perianth is reduced to two scales, called lodicules, that expand and contract to spread the lemma and palea, these are generally interpreted to be modified sepals. This complex structure can be seen in the image on the right, the fruit of grasses is a caryopsis, in which the seed coat is fused to the fruit wall
Sierra Nevada subalpine zone
The Sierra Nevada subalpine zone refers to a biotic zone below treeline in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, United States. This subalpine zone is positioned between the montane zone at its lower limit, and tree line at its upper limit. The vegetation and ecology is determined by the climate, with extensive snow. In addition, soils are thin and nutrient-poor, due to these harsh conditions, vegetation grows slowly and at low temperatures. In addition, the stressful environment suppress species competition and promotes mutualism, the marginal conditions make the Sierra Nevada subalpine zone sensitive to environmental changes, such as climate change and pollution. The long-lived nature of the species make the zone a good study system to examine these effects. The subalpine zone of the Sierra Nevada occurs between 2, 900–3,660 metres in the part of the range and 2. Because the Sierra is higher in the south, the majority of subalpine occurs in the central and southern portions of the range, a few isolated patches occur in the north on mountain peaks higher than 2,400 metres.
The climate of subalpine ecosystems is dominated by very long winters, temperatures are cool even during the growing season and frost can occur 12 months of the year. Precipitation ranges from 750–1,250 millimetres per year, which falls mostly as snow during the winter, temperatures average −11.5 to 1.5 °C in January and 5.5 to 19.5 °C in July, with a mean annual temperature around 4 °C. Snow depths often exceed 3 metres, but average 2 metres by the end of March, winds can be high throughout the year and are a major factor limiting plant growth near the upper limit of the subalpine zone. Soils are thin and relatively nutrient-poor, owing to the unproductive climate, moisture retention is usually high, due to the presence of underlying granite bedrock, and soils often become waterlogged early in the growing season. Compared to Rocky Mountains subalpine zone, Sierran subalpine experiences a range of temperatures and higher annual precipitation, with more winter snow. Generally, Sierran subalpine is dominated by woodland, which means the canopy cover averages between 30-60% closure, some species, particularly in protected sites with deeper soils and reduced wind, form closed-canopy stands.
Herb and shrub-dominated communities occur, but comprise a small proportion of the land area within the subalpine zone. Meadows can occur where water is more available and herbs are usually sparse, but can be common in stands where snow melts earlier in the growing season. Diversity of herbs in the zone is usually less than lower-elevation zones such as upper and lower montane. Broad classifications of herb and shrub communities can be found in Sawyer, for a fine-scale classification of subalpine meadow communities, see Benedict
Ecology of the Sierra Nevada
See Sierra Nevada for general information about the mountain range in the United States. The ecology of the Sierra Nevada, located in the U. S. state of California, is diverse and complex, the plants and animals are a significant part of the scenic beauty of the mountain range. The combination of climate, topography and soils influences the distribution of ecological communities across an elevation gradient from 1,000 feet to over 14,000 feet. Biotic zones range from scrub and chaparral communities at lower elevations, to subalpine forests, particular ecoregions that follow elevation contours are often described as a series of belts that follow the length of the Sierra Nevada. There are many hiking trails and unpaved roads, and vast public lands in the Sierra Nevada for exploring the different biomes. The western and eastern Sierra Nevada have substantially different species of plants and animals, the plants and animals in the east are thus adapted to much drier conditions. The altitudes listed for the zones are for the central Sierra Nevada.
The climate across the axis of the range varies somewhat. The lowest-elevation biotic zone in the Sierra Nevada is found along the boundary with the Central Valley. This zone, stretching in elevation from 500 to 3,500 feet, is the woodland zone. The foothills are vegetated with grasslands of mostly non-native grasses, mixed grasslands and woodlands savanna, a foothill woodland community of blue oak and gray pine, many of the plant communities are similar to those found on the inner California Coast Ranges. Animals typical of this zone include black bear, ringtail cat, gray squirrel, California mule deer, in the foothills of the northern portion of the Sierra Nevada and chamise often co-dominate certain open serpentine chaparral communities. Beginning near the 3,000 foot elevation, the hot, dry summers and cool and this zone is known as the yellow pine forest zone. The accumulation of several feet of snow during the winter is not uncommon, the diversity of tree species found in this zone make this a beautiful and interesting forest to explore.
The lower montane forests include such as California black oak, sugar pine, incense-cedar. The giant sequoia groves of the Sierra Nevada are found within this biotic zone, animals that may be found in this zone include the dark-eyed junco, mountain chickadee, western gray squirrel, mule deer, and American black bear. The endangered Yosemite toad is found in forests of the central Sierra Nevada. The lower montane forest can be seen in Yosemite Valley and along the Wawona, Hetch Hetchy, the upper montane forest begins at higher elevations near 7,000 feet, where the montane climate is characterized by short, cool summers and cold, wet winters
Alpine County, California
Alpine County, officially the County of Alpine, is a county in the U. S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,175, making it Californias least populous county. The county seat is the Census Designated Place of Markleeville, There are no incorporated cities in the county. Alpine County is in the Sierra Nevada, between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park, Alpine County was created on March 16,1864, during a silver boom in the wake of the nearby Comstock Lode discovery. It was named because of its resemblance to the Swiss Alps, the County was formed from parts of Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado and Tuolumne Counties. At its formation, the County had a population of about 11,000 with its County Seat at Silver Mountain City, by 1868, the local silver mines had proven unfruitful, and the population fell to about 1,200. The County Seat was moved to Markleeville in 1875, after the silver rush, Alpine Countys economy consisted almost entirely of farming and logging. By the 1920s, the population had fallen to just 200 people, with the construction of the Bear Valley and Kirkwood ski resorts in the late 1960s, the population increased to the present level.
According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 743 square miles, the federal government owns about 96% of Alpine County, the highest percentage in California. Eldorado National Forest Stanislaus National Forest Toiyabe National Forest The 2010 United States Census reported that Alpine County had a population of 1,175. The racial makeup of Alpine County was 881 White,0 African American,240 Native American,7 Asian,0 Pacific Islander,19 from other races, Hispanic or Latino of any race were 84 persons. As of the census of 2000, there were 1,208 people,483 households, the population density was 2 people per square mile. There were 1,514 housing units at a density of 2 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 73. 7% White,0. 6% Black or African American,18. 9% Native American,0. 3% Asian,0. 1% Pacific Islander,1. 4% from other races, and 5. 1% from two or more races. 7. 8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race,12. 1% were of German,12. 1% Irish,9. 3% English,6. 5% American and 5.
7% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000. 95. 0% spoke English,3. 1% Spanish and 2. 0% Washo as their first language,27. 7% of all households were made up of individuals and 5. 4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the family size was 2.96. In the county, the population was out with 22. 8% under the age of 18,10. 4% from 18 to 24,27. 5% from 25 to 44,29. 3% from 45 to 64