Earlier this month, several of us took a field trip to Santa Cruz Island to continue our research project on foliar water uptake in island ferns. This time, we were transplanting island ferns to the mainland for further experiments.
As always, the boat ride was fantastic! Dolphins followed us part of the way, and the fog was clearly visible around the island as we approached.
The island has many different microsites with small differences in climate. Thus, we needed to travel all over the island to locate our eight diverse fern species!
Many of the fern species were located near the west end of the island in Christy Pines. This seems like a logical place for the ferns to grow because this west end of the island is frequently foggy. After collecting the ferns, we continued past Christy Pines to Christy Beach.
The next day, we drove back to the dock at Prisoners’ Harbor. From there we hiked to Pelican Bay, where the rest of our fern species grow. There is a small perennial water source near Pelican Bay, and many of the dehydration sensitive evergreen ferns grow there.
It was certainly a successful trip! I am excited for the experiments we will run over the next few months, and I am definitely looking forward to returning to the island.