An Analysis of Vegetation on Private Inholdings and Its Role in Biodiversity of the Cleveland National Forest, San Diego CA
Hramiec, Alison M.
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The current trends of conservation biology are focused on protection of ecosystem biodiversity instead of on individual species. This effort encompasses larger interdependent systems and therefore includes a richness of species. This study will look specifically at the current status of biodiversity in the eastern section of the Descanso district in the Cleveland National Forest, California. The Descanso district is highly fragmented by private inholdings which represent more than a quarter of the total acreage of the National Forest. Vegetation maps were used in a quantitative analysis of the Holland vegetation codes. The technique demonstrated a large representation of species-rich habitats, specifically the coast oak woodland and the wet meadow, within the private land. Furthermore, key ecosystems on the National Forest land lie connected to private inholdings. This study concludes that the biodiversity of Cleveland National forest is highly dependent on maintenance of biodiversity on private inholdings. Pressured by demands of development, the private inholdings are at increasing risk of fragmentation. Maintaining biodiversity on the Cleveland National Forest requires land management planners to look holistically at the forest, and not to exclude the private land. This strategy should include minimizing fragmentation and developing wildlife corridors.