Merced Vernal Pools and Grasslands sampling for eDNA (Summer)

Sexton & Dawson labs at UC Merced

Back at the end of April, as the winds and sun were picking up after one of the wettest winters in recent memory, and the vernal pools were lush with green grassses and white & yellow flowers, we completed our first vernal pool eDNA sampling on a beautiful spring morning.  Now, in  mid-summer, we’re back out there again, resampling some pools and adding other pools into the study design.  It has the sense of a completely different landscape.  Golden grasses stretch as far as the eye can see.  The flowers are long gone.  But among the mostly dormant plant life are a few hidden surprises: a praying mantis, a horned lark nest.  And one or two green Orcuttia grasses in the dry pool bottoms indicated some residual moisture below the hard-baked surface. We’ll be back out in November-December to see the change of another season.  CLICK THE PHOTOS TO SCROLL THROUGH THEM.