Title

Comparing Total Precipitation for Vernal Pools in Wet and Dry Seasons

Poster Number

34

Lead Author Major

Environmental Studies

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Stacy Luthy

Faculty Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract/Artist Statement

Vernal pools, also referred to as temporary pools or ephemeral pools, are surface pools on impervious land substrates leftover from precipitation. These temporary pools appear during rainfall in winter and spring, and dry up in summer and fall. Throughout this cycle, vernal pools support numerous endemic plant and animal species, many of which are endangered, such as the federally and state protected fairy shrimp and its three species. For this research I took pool samples from four sites near Prairie City, CA from November 2010 to April 2012 that included three types of crustacean: copepods, daphnia, and fairy shrimp. These crustaceans lay resistant eggs (cysts) when the pools are wetted that will hatch during the next pool season. Research has shown cysts hatch proportionally to their chances of survival and that vernal pool depth is positively correlated with species richness. The length of inundation of these species is critical to their success, as some species need longer ponding periods to fully develop. Longer ponding periods depend on total precipitation, storm intensity and pattern, and land topography. In Northern California, the winter of 2010-2011 was classified as wet, but the next year (winter 2011-2012) was extremely dry. This scenario not only led to fewer vernal pools in 2011-2012, but also pools with shallower depth and shorter inundation period. I analyzed total precipitation between the 2011 and 2012 vernal pool seasons to observe how total precipitation, storm intensity, and rain patterns affect the life and longevity of vernal pools.

Location

Grave Covell

Start Date

21-4-2012 10:00 AM

End Date

21-4-2012 12:00 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 21st, 10:00 AM Apr 21st, 12:00 PM

Comparing Total Precipitation for Vernal Pools in Wet and Dry Seasons

Grave Covell

Vernal pools, also referred to as temporary pools or ephemeral pools, are surface pools on impervious land substrates leftover from precipitation. These temporary pools appear during rainfall in winter and spring, and dry up in summer and fall. Throughout this cycle, vernal pools support numerous endemic plant and animal species, many of which are endangered, such as the federally and state protected fairy shrimp and its three species. For this research I took pool samples from four sites near Prairie City, CA from November 2010 to April 2012 that included three types of crustacean: copepods, daphnia, and fairy shrimp. These crustaceans lay resistant eggs (cysts) when the pools are wetted that will hatch during the next pool season. Research has shown cysts hatch proportionally to their chances of survival and that vernal pool depth is positively correlated with species richness. The length of inundation of these species is critical to their success, as some species need longer ponding periods to fully develop. Longer ponding periods depend on total precipitation, storm intensity and pattern, and land topography. In Northern California, the winter of 2010-2011 was classified as wet, but the next year (winter 2011-2012) was extremely dry. This scenario not only led to fewer vernal pools in 2011-2012, but also pools with shallower depth and shorter inundation period. I analyzed total precipitation between the 2011 and 2012 vernal pool seasons to observe how total precipitation, storm intensity, and rain patterns affect the life and longevity of vernal pools.