Coastal dune ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest are known to be highly complex, dynamic, and are relatively vulnerable to climatic changes (Madurapperuma, B, et al. 2020). There are many evolving factors that have the potential to influence the coastal dune ecosystem ecology. For example, disturbance from noxious non-native species, anthropogenic factors, fire, and climatic changes are known to affect the stability of active coastal dune systems (DaSilva, M et al. 2021). The widespread colonization of European beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria) is a specific disrupter of coastal dune ecology as introduced non-native species and has decreased biodiversity of flora and fauna at the Ocean Ranch Unit in the Eel River Wildlife Area (Ocean Ranch Restoration Project Final EIR, 2021). An estimated 40 to 60 percent of the coastal dune system has been covered by Ammophila arenaria since its introduction to Humboldt County in the 1970’s (Ocean Ranch Restoration Project Final EIR, 2021). In restoration of the coastal dune system, the Ocean Ranch Restoration Project has employed a variety of eradication strategies including prescribed burning, herbicide application, manual removal, mechanical removal, or a combination of methods (Ocean Ranch Restoration Project Final EIR, 2021). However, evaluating the recolonization of biological communities is important in monitoring the success of these treatments. Lepidoptera are newly emerging as an effective indicator species of ecosystem health due to their population relationship to successional stages of ecosystem development (Dar, A. A. & Jamal, K. 2021). In support of monitoring the reestablishing coastal dune communities, this study examines the Lepidopteran abundance and diversity through sampling of moth assemblages in the treatment plots of the Ocean Ranch Restoration Project (ORRP).


Fall 2023


Environmental Science & Management


Daniel Lipe

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