USGS and California Wildfires: Post-Fire–Invasive Plants


So these lands are recently purchased as Department
of the Interior lands. The Otay watershed itself has been pretty severly burned. The area we’re
standing in was burned in 2003 and now it’s burned
again in 2007. We’re concerned about that multiple burn and
its effect on the plants abilities to grow, on invasives
taking over. Over here you can see the Arundo which is
an invasive raparian species and it’s already aggressively
coming back in this site and its probably benefiting
a lot from the ash that’s here. And the concern is that
it was more localized. There was a patch here, a
patch there, some other patches down the creek but as it
comes back it’ll probably spread much quicker than the
rapairan habitat will recover in and may replace a lot of the
raparian habitat that was here. And we’re very concerned
about that because its got a lower biodiversity.
It serves as less habitat for species, native species,
then the natural raparian habitat does. It’s got less
structural components to it and it’s got dense matts
that are impenetrable to a lot of species so it takes
a lot of effort and funding to try and remove it and
control it in Southern California. Yet is seems like
it’s going to be at a preferential benefit from this fire
in the short term at least.