CNPS Channel Islands Meeting (July)

Date: Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Time: 7:00PM - 9:00PM

Instructor: Nick Jensen

Location: Blaksley Library

Join the California Native Plant Society, Channel Islands Chapter for their monthly meeting.

7:00pm general announcements
7:30pm talk begins

FREE. No registration required.

This Month

Plant diversity at a biogeographic crossroads
The first flora of Tejon Ranch
Nick Jensen

At approximately 270,000 acres Tejon Ranch is California’s largest contiguous piece of private land. Located primarily in the Tehachapi Mountains of Kern County, Tejon Ranch occupies one of the most interesting and complex areas of ecological convergence in the state: the junction of the San Joaquin Valley, Sierra Nevada, Western Transverse Ranges, and Mojave Desert. Prior to 2008, when nearly 90 percent of the ranch was placed under conservation agreements, Tejon Ranch was closed to scientific research. On Tejon, over the past four years Nick has made more than 4,000 herbarium collections representing at least one new species (a Streptanthus), dozens of new populations of rare species, and countless range extensions. A highlight of these collections, in 2015, was the discovery of a large population of California jewelflower (Caulanthus californicus) an endangered species previously considered extirpated in the San Joaquin Valley, in the Tejon Hills. So far, these collections represent more than 1060 taxa, approximately 85% of which are native to California. This means that Tejon Ranch provides habitat for more than 14% of the state’s native plants on just 0.25% of California’s acreage!

Nick Jensen recently received his Ph.D in Botany at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden/Claremont Graduate University. His research interests include biogeography, rare plant conservation, and biodiversity. His research projects include the flora of Tejon Ranch, threats to California’s rare plants, and evolutionary relationships in Streptanthus (jewelflowers). Nick has a B.S. in Environmental Horticulture from UC Davis and previously served as the Rare Plant Program Director for the California Native Plant Society. He has also worked as a botanist for the U.S. Forest Service, Chicago Botanic Garden, and in the private consulting industry.

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