The Strength Of Collaboration
Citizen Science

Sudden Oak Death BioBlitz

RFFI partners with the UC Berkeley Forest Pathology Laboratory to host an annual bioblitz, empowering citizen scientists to document the spread of sudden-oak death on Usal. So far, test results have come back negative. However, scientists warn that the arrival of SOD is a matter of “when,” not “if.” With this in mind, it is important for us to continue monitoring the forest’s health.

Bay laurels are among the most virulent vectors of SOD. The bay laurel leaves are showing signs of leaf blight, but fortunately test results came back negative for SOD

Invasive Species Mapping

Citizen scientists have helped RFFI chart the spread of invasive species, including broom, across the landscape. Using clipboards and highlighters, they have gathered valuable data across many miles of our road network.

Forest Conservation Specialist Karen Youngblood prepares citizen scientists to map the spread of invasive species.

Sudden Oak Death Stream Trapping

Further research has been conducted by UC Davis researchers & Carla Thomas. The UC Davis Forest Pathology team utilizes a different method for monitoring the spread of SOD. Their method of “stream trapping” consists of placing a mesh bag with healthy leaves of a pathogen-receptive species into a stream or watercourse. After about a week, researchers check the leaves to see if they have become infected. If so, we know that the pathogen is present somewhere in watershed above the location of the stream trap.

The image of South Fork Usal Creek was taken just above one of the stream trapping locations.