Press Release: Woolly Stars Need Catastrophes to Live

Researchers use soil treatments that mimic one or more physical disturbances occurring after a natural flooding event, such as scouring away topsoil. Photo courtesy of Ken Corey/USFWS.

Researchers use soil treatments that mimic one or more physical disturbances occurring after a natural flooding event, such as scouring away topsoil. Photo courtesy of Ken Corey/USFWS.

In the Santa Ana River floodplain, an endangered plant needs the effects of intense flooding to grow and survive in loose soil

March 19, 2019
For Immediate Release

Contact: Zoe Gentes, 202-833-8773 ext. 211, zgentes@esa.org

A small, crunchy, spiny plant redefines toughness as it thrives on catastrophic flooding. The endangered Santa Ana Woolly Star does not just prosper with floods, though; it depends on them. Thanks to a huge dam, natural floods are now nonexistent in its home turf.

In a study published in the Ecological Society of America’s journal Ecosphere, researchers use different soil treatments mimicking flood effects in the woolly star’s preferred habitat, exploring the effectiveness of each to help the plant survive in the face of urban development.

Full press release: https://www.esa.org/esa/woolly-stars-need-catastrophes-to-live/