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Return of Natural Hardwood Regeneration in a Cleared Watershed

Many of California’s watersheds have been cleared of their tree and shrub cover, often with the goal of improving grazing conditions for livestock. Large areas of these watersheds can remain with few trees because several oak species are not regenerating adequately to replace removed trees. As a result, these watersheds are susceptible to soil erosion, diminished and degraded wildlife habitat, and decreased water quality.

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Integrating Information at State, Regional and Local Scales

Watersheds are landscape mosaics; therefore, watershed structure and function is dependent on scale. Temporal and spatial scales influence the inferences we can make about landscape patterns and processes. Spatial scale is the dimension of an object or process characterized by both grain and extent. Grain is defined as the finest level of spatial resolution possible with a given data set and extent is the size of a study area. The scale at which watershed measurements are taken influences our ability to detect spatial patterns. Biotic and abiotic processes vary in their operating scale.For example, anadromous fish are affected by stream and ocean environments. In contrast, native minnows are influenced by processes that occur within a stream or tributary.

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