What can the Flora of Tejon Ranch tell us about the flora of California?
Speakers: Nick Jensen
Date: Thursday, November 20, 2014 (doors open 6:45 pm, Speaker at 7:30 pm)
Location: Fullerton Arboretum,1900 Associated Road, Fullerton
Directions: From the Orange Freeway (57) exit east on Yorba Linda Blvd. Turn left on Associated Road, then left into the Arboretum parking lot. The meeting will take place in the Visitor Center/Education building.
At approximately 270,000 acres Tejon Ranch is California’s largest contiguous piece of private land. Located primarily in the Tehachapi Mountains of Kern County, Tejon Ranch occupies on of the most interesting and complex areas of ecological convergence in the state: the junction of the San Joaquin Valley, Sierra Nevada, Western Transverse Ranges, and Mojave Desert. Prior to 2008, when 90 percent of the ranch was placed under conservation agreements, Tejon Ranch was closed to scientific research. Recent botanical collecting and herbarium based research associated with progress toward a flora of Tejon Ranch has identified many range extensions, and the possible discovery of numerous species new to science. We present current findings from this research and an analysis of the flora of Tejon Ranch in relation to adjacent ecological regions. Preliminary results using geospatial analysis indicate that the flora of the Tehachapi Mountains is more closely related to the Western Transverse Ranges and Mojave Desert than other adjacent regions. This analysis provides a framework for understanding the evolution of the flora of the Tehachapi Mountains and adjacent regions.
Nick Jensen is currently a graduate student at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden/Claremont Graduate University. His research interests include biogeography, rare plants, and biodiversity. His primary research project is the flora of Tejon Ranch, which is centered in the Tehachapi Mountains. Nick is also interested in gaining a greater understanding of the threats to California’s plants, and relationships among southern California Streptanthus (jewelflowers). Prior to his graduate career, Nick served as the Rare Plant Program Director for CNPS and has worked as a botanist for the US Forest Service, Chicago Botanic Garden, and the private consulting industry. Note: Nick received our Chapter’s 2013/14 Charlie O’Neill Grant to support this work involving the flora in and around Tejon Ranch.