• Conserving San Diego’s endemic geophytes

      Davitt, Joe (2017)
      The Mediterranean climate and diverse habitats that typify San Diego County have resulted in both the highest number of plant taxa found in any county in the United States, and plants with adaptations that make species assessment challenging. Geophytes are perennial plants with underground storage structures such as bulbs, corms, and rhizomes, which are particularly common in Mediterranean climates. With the goal of capturing the breadth of a species’ genetic diversity in the seed bank, we must assess a species population size across its entire range. Yet the ability of geophytes to remain dormant underground for prolonged periods of time make their assessment very difficult. The problem is further exacerbated by drought and the inherent unpredictability of future weather as a result of climate change. Because of this we must monitor and make seed collections from rare geophyte populations across many different years and under different climatic conditions.