It has been a great experience to be surrounded with people concerned about species conservation and management of natural resources. All these experiences are allowing me to see the importance of disturbed environment restoration, especially those affected by invasive species. During this week we not only work at dunes restoration activities at the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area pulling out scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius), but we also learned about the relation between the Dunes ecosystem, human activity, native and invasive species. For example, the scotch broom is a very adaptable invasive plant with powerful roots used by the settlers to stabilize the dunes.
photo 1: Me at Baker Beach Dunes that is covered by European beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria)
The coastal temperate rainforest that splits in microsystems (i.e, the dunes), has faced important threats due to human settlements and resources exploitation. The biggest threats have been the introduction of invasive species, excessive logging and hunting, water contamination, open water and fresh water overfishing (i.e, chinook, coho and chum salmon). All these activities have unbalanced the food webs and affected the ecosystem resilience.
(photo 2: up chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)
It is great to see the effort of the people that work in the National Forest Service and Non-governmental organizations to conserve and connect the fragmented areas of forest, maintaining their native species. It is critical for the conservation and success of unique and threatened species of the Northwest like the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus), it is the only seabird that nests in the canopy of trees which makes it the only seabird that nests inland in forested areas.