The objective of this project is to better understand the interface of topography and hydrology on the UC Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve. Using a combination of empirical data and model development, our team seeks to better understand how water moves throughout the preserve.
California’s vernal pools provide habitat for a suite of rare and endemic species and its continued loss highlights the importance of conservation and mitigation efforts. Due to the unique geologic and hydrologic characteristics required of vernal pool habitat, mitigation projects often result in the creation of new pools in natural vernal pool systems. However, little is known about the impact this alteration in spatial pattern of vernal pools may have on landscape ecology.