CONSTRUCTING VERNAL POOLS FOR ECOLOGICAL FUNCTION: AN HISTORICAL STUDY OF TEN VERNAL POOL CREATION SITES IN THE NORTHERN CENTRAL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA
Sacramento Valley, California
Client: Bureau of Reclamation (with technical oversight from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
Contact: Rosemary A. Stefani, Ph.D. Natural Resources Specialist: 916/978-5045
VNLC is conducting a two-year study being funded by the Bureau of Reclamation under the Central Valley Improvement Act grant opportunity (with technical oversight by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) that is examining historic trends and success of vernal pool restoration and creation at ten project sites (~500 pools) in the Sacramento Valley. VNLC completed the first year of this study in which we analyzed the physical characteristics of created versus natural vernal pools, pool design and construction methods, and management and monitoring requirements over the last twenty years. VNLC collected data on the hydrology, invertebrates, water quality, vegetation and site condition by several methods during the second year, which we are now in the process of analyzing. Our final report will provide a set of scientifically-based monitoring criteria (methods, schedules, and time frames) that are best suited to evaluate ecological function for vernal pool creation and restoration projects, and make specific recommendations for vernal pool design and construction.