Edaphic Features within Vernal Pools of the Laguna de Santa Rosa and its Effect on Global and Local Ecosystems

Publication Type  Conference Presentation
Authors  John Krafft; Karen Kassebohm-Hancock
Affiliations  Sonoma State Univeristy, Department of Geography
Year  2009
Key Words  Carbon sequestration; CO2; Edaphic features; Endemic flora; Laguna de Santa Rosa; Loss-on-ignition; Soil; Vernal Pool; Wetland

Abstract Part I – John Krafft
Vernal pools have long been a part of the natural environment, providing essential functions within local and global cycles. The carbon cycle is the most talked about area of concern in recent years as climate change has become widely accepted. Wetlands sequester carbon within soils at greater rates than non-wetland areas; vernal pools are no different. In this study I demonstrate, on a fine scale, the difference in carbon sequestration between soils with the most anaerobic conditions in vernal pools compared with the soils that are more aerobic just outside vernal pools. The loss of seasonal wetlands not only degrades the intrinsic value of our environment, I propose that it also contributes to the changes in climate we have seen due to increasing CO2 in our atmosphere.

Abstract Part II – Karen Kassebohm-Hancock
The Santa Rosa Plain Vernal Pool Ecosystem is a unique microtopography that hosts endangered and endemic plant species. This study looks at whether edaphic, soil related factors may influence the geographic distribution of California endemic flora within the vernal pool system. To address this question, vernal pools from six different sites were surveyed using a laser rangefinder to locate the perimeters of the vernal pools and the target plant’s population within the pool. The Sonoma County Soil Survey was used to reference soil types. Field observations for color, texture and redoximorphic features of the soils were used to ground truth these locations. pH analysis of the soil samples was measured at the Sonoma State University Soils lab. This study identifies a clear relationship between edaphic factors and plant species and should be considered in the preservation of natural and translocated populations of Blennosperma bakeri, Limnanthes vinculans and Lasthenia burkei to help ensure long term survival.


Part I and Part II listed within the abstract are two seperate papers which have been combined for the purpose of this poster presentation. Both Authors helped with each project, however the primary author for each original paper is listed next to their section in the abstract.

Conference Name  2009 State of the Laguna Conference and Science Symposium
Presentation Type: 
Edaphic_Features_Poster.pdf8.48 MB