Sunol Field Trip
Local Plant Communities
(Image: Entrance to Sunol - Ohlone Regional Wilderness)
All of the organisms of one kind in an area.
All of the people in this room constitute a population.
The populations of various species
(all the organisms) living in a particular region or habitat.
Characterize by the organisms
Dominant species - influential
Most numerous and/or the largest.
Often the community is named
after the dominant species.
Example - redwood forest
The trees have a great effect on the community.
They create shade which limits which plants can grow with the redwoods.
They must be shade tolerant.
The redwoods are not a good source of food for animals. This limits
the number of animals present.
What determines which community is where?
Sunol communities that we will see:
(Image: Sunol hills showing dark green oak woodland and light brown grassland)
Note the mosaic of oak woodland
(dark green) and grassland (light brown) on the hills.
The dark brown area is coastal
The trees which are on the right
are part of the riparian community.
(Image: riparian community)
From ripa, Latin for
stream bank or riparius, growing along bank.
Along permanent streams and
Has been systematically destroyed
by flood control channels, rice paddies.
(Image: riparian community)
Typical plants have large leaves.
Large leaves allow for maximum
exposure to the sun for photosynthesis.
Most water loss from plants
is from the leaves.
In dry areas, large leaves are
In the riparian community, however,
there is a constant supply of water
Riparian Community Along Alameda Creek in Sunol (Image: riparian
Trees are usually deciduous.
(Image: deciduous trees)
They lose their leaves in the
late summer or fall.
May be jungle-like in summer.
Abundant wildlife. Why?
Plants we are likely to see:
In the water, cattails
On the edge, willows, white
Further back, cottonwood, big-leaf
maple, California sycamore. (Image:
California Sycamore tree)
In the past the dominant grasses were native perennial bunch grasses.
- lives year after year.
woody like a tree or can come up every year like a tulip.
came up every year.
- the leaves are in clumps.
Replaced by alien, annual, European grasses.
- introduced, not native.
- sprouts from a seed, grows, produces flowers, seeds and dies. Sprouts the
next year from a seed.
Hills were green longer with the originals.
No shrubs or trees. Why?
Wildflowers in the spring.
Often found in depressions in grassland areas where the water doesnt
Temporary ponds that fill with water in winter then dry up in the
May see rings of flowers.
closest to the water are the most tolerant of wet soil.
Some plants are endemic to vernal pools.
= found in only one area.
(Image: Sunol hills showing oak woodland and grassland communities)
Note the oak woodland community
in the gullies.
Grassland is on the hilltops.
Dominant plants are oak trees;
Blue, valley, coast live, interior
live. (Image: coast live)
live = evergreen
In addition to the oaks:
Bull, foothill, or gray pine.
(Image: gray pine)
Trees may be scattered or be dense.
Under the trees, grasses and shrubs.
Use of a key
We are going to use a simple key to identify the plants.
It is the Pacific
Coast Tree Finder by Tom Watts. (Image: Pacific Coast Tree Finder)
Your instructor will lend you a copy.
If you are interested in buying it, you can order it from Amazon.com
or Sunrise Mountain Sports in
Livermore usually carries it. It costs about $3.50.
(Image: Students using a key to identify plants)
Begin on page 6.
Read the two alternatives and
select the one which applies.
Go to the page and the symbol
Continue reading the two alternatives
and selecting the best until your arrive at the name of the plant.
Names of organisms
Common names and Latin names
with common names:
may have more than one.
with the language of the speaker.
name may be used for two or more plants.
Latin names consist of a genus name and a species name.
How they are correctly written:
Pinus sabiniana or Pinus sabiniana, gray or
Read the handouts prior to the
Bio 31 - Read pp. 6-8,
566-567, 686-687, 726 in Mader.
Bot 1 - Read pp.53-69 in the
Supplement before the trip. Pp. 53-54 explain what you are going to do.
Read 219-221in the text, online 31-1, 32-2
to 32-8, 32-16 to 32-17, 32-20 to 32-21.
You will have to turn in a field
report, if you are in Botany 1
The report will be due one week
from the date of the trip.
What to Bring:
(Image: Students appropriately outfitted)
Sun screen, hat
Something to take notes on/with.
Watch out for this plant!
(Image: poison oak)
This is poison oak.
Note the three leaflets which
make up the leaf.
Many people have allergic reactions
to the oil which it produces.
If you come in contact with
the leaves or branches, wash with cool water and soap as soon as possible.
from your instructor and read them prior to the trip.
A map is included in your handouts.
Meet at the barrier in the road near the porta-potties.
Time - your instructor will specify.
(Image: Sunol - Ohlone Regional Wilderness
Check out the recently renovated Visitor Center before you leave.