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Land 2014, 3(3), 834-849; doi:10.3390/land3030834
Article

A Resilience-Based Approach to the Conservation of Valley Oak in a Southern California Landscape

1,*  and 2
1 Department of Geography and Geology, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE 68182, USA 2 Department of Geosciences, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 April 2014 / Revised: 10 July 2014 / Accepted: 14 July 2014 / Published: 23 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Perspectives on Environmental Conservation)
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Abstract

Conservation thinking will benefit from the incorporation of a resilience perspective of landscapes as social-ecological systems that are continually changing due to both internal dynamics and in response to external factors such as a changing climate. The examination of two valley oak stands in Southern California provides an example of the necessity of this systems perspective where each stand is responding differently as a result of interactions with other parts of the landscape. One stand is experiencing regeneration failure similar to other stands across the state, and is exhibiting shifts in spatial pattern as a response to changing conditions. A nearby stand is regenerating well and maintaining spatial and structural patterns, likely due to the availability of imported water associated with upstream urban development. Valley oak stands have a capacity for reorganization as a response to changes in the landscape and environmental conditions. This reorganization can benefit conservation efforts; however, we must ask what limits there are to valley oak’s capacity to reorganize and still maintain its ecological function in face of increasing changes in climate and land cover. The usefulness of resilience as a concept in conservation is discussed at several scales from the stand to the landscape.
Keywords: conservation; landscape; valley oak; resilience; California; imported water conservation; landscape; valley oak; resilience; California; imported water
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hayes, J.J.; Donnelly, S. A Resilience-Based Approach to the Conservation of Valley Oak in a Southern California Landscape. Land 2014, 3, 834-849.

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