New Restoration Strategies for Holocarpha macradenia in light of 2011 field studies Report to Parks & Recreation Resource Managers
presented by Michael Lewis & Jean Brocklebank
For years, the City of Santa Cruz has experimented with various management prescriptions for the restoration and retention of a viable population of Santa Cruz tarplant (Holocarpha macradenia) at Arana Gulch. 1987 is usually noted as the year that grazing ended at Arana Gulch and that tarplant began its demise. Currently all management prescriptions are based on trying to replicate grazing and/or disturbance. On occasion, catastrophic treatment has been tried, with some immediate success. However, over the years, such catastrophic treatments at Arana Gulch have not produced intended results and may have even been responsible for the loss of seed and seedbed.
We surveyed two other coastal terrace prairie grasslands in the county and compared management treatments to see if there is a correlation with treatment and success or failure. We also factored in weather/precipitation data to see if either may be a factor in the yearly population variation of all three grassland sites. We reviewed the literature by botanists Grey Hayes and Laurie Kiguchi.
Based on our field studies and research, we have concluded the following: