With its desolate hills and slopes overrun by non-native grasses and black mustard, the West Loma Ridge isn’t much to look at as you’re speeding down the 241 toll road. But closer inspection reveals an ambitious ecological effort to restore its native grasslands and shrubs.
It’s also where Mia Maltz, a doctoral candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, in the lab of Professor Kathleen K. Treseder, is determining how what happens underground, at the root level, can enhance this restoration.
The 530-acre West Loma Ridge project area is one of several Orange County sites managed by the Irvine Ranch Conservancy where biologists – including those with UCI’s Center for Environmental Biology – are improving the long-term health of native environments. Read more.