Aquatic Invasive Species in the Santa Monica Mountains: Patterns, Explanations and Restoration

A Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Seminar Series featuring Lee Kats, Division of Life Sciences, Pepperdine University.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
2320 Life Sciences Building

Hosts: Brad Shaffer and Dick Zimmer

Refreshments will be served at 11:40 a.m.

Abstract

For over 20 years my students and I have been studying the impacts of invasive species on the native stream fauna of the Santa Monica Mountains. Initially our field surveys suggested that local amphibians had disappeared from streams invaded by predatory nonnative crayfish and fish. Coexistence of amphibians with invasive predators is rare; however, in a few instances amphibians persist with invasives in our local mountain streams. A twenty year data set suggests that persistence is likely dependent on periodic flood events that wash invasive species out of streams allowing amphibians to breed and reproduce. In one local system, property owners are partnering to completely eradicate invasive crayfish and restore stream habitat. Recently, many local streams have been invaded by New Zealand mud snails. We are now examining whether stream flow has the potential to regulate these invaders as well. In summary, local native stream animals do not fare well when streams are invaded by invasive predators. These situations could worsen if climate change alters rainfall patterns in Southern California.

 

Sponsor(s): La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science