Restoration of Native Plants on Mt. Fiji:Drought Tolerance and Seedling Establishment of Toyon, a Target Species


Bryden Johnston

Document Type


Publication Date



Coastal sage scrub communities are highly prone to invasion by exotic species, human disturbance and drought. Mt. Fiji, a coastal sage scrub habitat on the Occidental campus, is covered with invasive species and is also routinely subjected to fire and drought. The goal of this research was to investigate restoring a native plant community on Mt. Fiji. There were three components to this investigation. The first was an assessment of the physiological properties of five native species on Mt. Fiji: southern honeysuckle, Mexican elderberry, toyon, scrub oak and skunkbush. The properties surveyed were leaf water potential, leaf and soil water content and transpiration. These properties indicated environmental stress on these species. The second component to this research consisted of a germination experiment with toyon, testing the effect of high summer temperatures and lower spring or fall temperatures. The higher temperature condition was imposed on containers outdoors on the roof of the biology building, while the cooler temperature treatment was imposed in a climate controlled growth chamber. Both groups were watered until germination was established. The two groups were then exposed to drought to test seedling survival. The third component of the research consisted of two-year-old toyon plants in containers being subjected to drought to investigate growth responses to water stress. These plants were separated into high and moderate temperature climate groups. Toyon is fire and drought resistant, making it a target species for this research and the restoration of Mt. Fiji.


Gretchen North




Sherman Fairchild Foundation Grant Fellowship

This document is currently not available here.