California oak woodland
California oak woodland is a
plant communityfound throughout the California chaparral and woodlandsecoregion of Californiaand northwestern Baja California. Oak woodland is widespread at lower elevations in coastal California, interior valleys of the Coast Ranges, and in a ring around the California Central Valley grasslands. The dominant trees are oaks, interspersed with other broadleaf and coniferous trees, with an understory of grasses, herbs, geophytes, and shrubs. Oak savannas occur where the oaks are more widely spaced.
The Oak woodlands of
Southern Californiaand coastal Northern Californiaare dominated by Coast Live Oak"(Quercus agrifolia)", but also include Valley Oak"(Q. lobata)", California Black Oak"(Q. kelloggii)", Canyon live oak"(Q. chrysolepis)", and other California oaks. The foothill oak woodlands around the Central Valley are dominated by Blue Oak"(Q. douglasii)" and Gray Pine"(Pinus sabiniana)".
California oak woodland communities
* Oregon Oak woodland is found in northern California's
Klamath-Siskiyou, Northern Coast Ranges, and southern Cascade Range, these woodlands are composed primarily of Oregon Oak"(Quercus garryana)", Interior Live Oak"(Q. wislizenii)", and Coast Live Oak, together with California Black Oak, Canyon Oak, Blue Oak, Pacific Madrone"(Arbutus menziesii)", California Bay"(Umbellularia californica)", Incense Cedar"(Calocedrus decurrens)", Coast Douglas Fir"(Pseudtsuga menziesii)", and Ponderosa Pine"(Pinus ponderosa)".
* Blue Oak woodland is found in the inner coast ranges and the Sierra Nevada foothills, surrounding the Central Valley. Primary species are Blue Oak and Interior Live Oak, together with Valley Oak, Canyon Oak, Coast Live Oak,
California Scrub Oak"(Q. berberidifolia)", Gray Pine, California Buckeye"(Aesculus californica)", and Western Redbud"(Cercis occidentalis)".
* Coast Live Oak woodland is widespread in northern and southern California, and is dominated by Coast Live Oak, together with California Buckeye, Pacific Madrone, California Bay, and
California Walnut"(Juglans californica)".
* Valley Oak woodland is found in the interior valleys of northern and central California, and is dominated by Valley Oak and Coast Live Oak, together with Gray Pine and
Coulter Pine"(Pinus coulteri)".
* Island Oak woodland is found on the
California Channel Islands, and is made up primarily of Island Oak"(Q. tomentella)" and Coast Live Oak, together with Canyon Oak, MacDonald Oak"(Q. berberidifolia" hybridized with Valley or other oaks), Catalina Ironwood"(Lyonothamnus lyonii)", and Bishop Pine"(Pinus muricata)".
* Engelmann Oak woodland is found in a few locations in the northern
Peninsular Rangesof southern California, including the Santa Rosa Plateau. It consists mostly of Engelmann Oak"(Q. engelmanii)", together with Coast Live Oak.
tatus and future of California oak woodlands
The Oaks 2040 survey estimates that convert|750000|acre|km2 of California oak woodlands are seriously threatened by 2040 as a burgeoning state population makes ever more use of the wildland. This comprehensive survey includes oak woodland maps and inventory data for the ten oak types found in California. By evaluating this new information against current State of California economic growth projections, the location and extent of oak woodlands most at risk of development are identified.
Notable examples of occurrence
The headwaters area of
Yulupa Creekin Annadel State Parkis cited as one of the best examples of California oak woodlands. [ [http://www.parks.sonoma.net/Annadel.html Annadel State Park facts] ] Much of this woodland is a relatively pristine ecosystem with considerable biodiversity. An unusual characteristic of this Annadel forest is the high content of undisturbed prehistoric bunch grass understory, testifying to the absence of historic grazingor other agriculture.
Line note references
* Dallman, Peter R. (1998). "Plant Life in the World's Mediterranean Climates." California Native Plant Society–University of California Press; Berkeley.
* Gaman, Tom and Firman, Jeffrey (2006). "Oaks 2040: The Status and Future of Oaks in California." Published by the California Oak Foundation, Oakland.
* Pavlik, Bruce M., Pamela C. Muick, Sharon G. Johnson,and Marjorie Popper (1991). "Oaks of California." Cachuma Press and the California Oak Foundation;
Los Olivos, California.
* Schoenherr, Allan A. (1992). "A Natural History of California." University of California Press; Berkeley.
* [http://www.californiaoaks.org/html/2040.html/ Oaks 2040: The Status and Future of Oaks in California]
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