Graduation Date

Spring 2024

Document Type



Master of Science degree with a major in Biology

Committee Chair Name

Terry W. Henkel

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Erik S. Jules

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Daniel Barton

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Fourth Committee Member Name

James Graham

Fourth Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Fifth Committee Member Name

David K. Imper

Fifth Committee Member Affiliation

Community Member or Outside Professional


Habitat suitability models, Endangered, California endemic, Serpentine, Assisted migration, Lupinus, MaxEnt

Subject Categories



The Lassics lupine, Lupinus constancei, is a serpentine species endemic to the Lassics Mountains of northern California, listed as critically imperiled and federally endangered. Increased encroachment from reduced fire intervals has led to elevated herbivory from small mammals. While deployment of exclosure cages has decreased negative impacts, diminishing snowpack from shifting climate continues to threaten the Lassics lupine. To locate possible refugia, I evaluated alternative sites for assisted migration. I built a habitat suitability model (HSM) using MaxEnt software and WorldClim variables to predict optimal habitat. I then evaluated aerial imagery, topography, and geology to identify areas for microhabitat data collection. The final study sites included Black Rock, Bug Creek Butte, Dry Lake, and Red Mountain, and were compared to the Lassics lupine demographic monitoring transects. Although soil temperature data suggested the four sites were not statistically different from the monitoring transects, more data should be evaluated prior to translocation to ensure microhabitat features are compatible for the Lassics lupine. Soil elemental analyses showed a high similarity between the Lassics lupine habitat, Black Rock, and Red Mountain; similar botanical diversity existed within Red Mountain and the Lassics lupine demographic monitoring transects. According to the HSM, the most important variable for modeling optimal habitat was precipitation of the wettest quarter of the year. This research informs agencies of suitable habitat for assisted migration of the Lassics lupine and provides insight into building HSMs with small datasets to inform research for other imperiled species.

Citation Style


Included in

Botany Commons



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