The Society for Ecological Restoration Northwest Chapter 2019 Graduate Student Colloquia: Day 1


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Assessing the effects of meadow restoration on Sierra Nevada amphibians using eDNA (Nicolette Nelson) Managers in the Sierra Nevada are increasingly restoring degraded wet meadows in order to recover essential ecosystem services (e.g. water storage and carbon sequestration) and to benefit native wildlife. These projects may increase available habitat for federally-listed amphibians, but some projects have unintentionally prompted the spread of invasive species that negatively impact native amphibians through predation, competition, and disease. Rare amphibians, early-stage invasive colonizers, and pathogens are difficult to observe using traditional survey methods, so we used environmental DNA (eDNA) to determine the net impacts of wet meadow restoration on sensitive amphibians. Our results suggest that wet meadow restoration in the Sierra Nevada has not directly benefited sensitive amphibians. Use of Museum Material to Reconstruct the Extirpated Fauna of the Los Angeles River (Rachel Turba de Paula) After extirpation of species in their natural habitat, museum samples are usually the only potential source of DNA. For restoration plans to be successful, we need to clearly understand what has been lost. Museum material stored at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County will be used to investigate extirpated populations of unarmored threespine stickleback, a species of freshwater unionid clam, as well as an extinct and endemic species of shrimp. In this chapter, we will investigate the success of different protocols on extractions of formalin-fixed material, dried tissues and shells, which can secondarily be extended to a hybridization capture approach for genome sequencing. Results will be used to answer questions about relationships between extant and extirpated populations and should clarify options for appropriate restoration of the Los Angeles Basin.

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