Chris Lowry from the Department of Geology is
leading a study with researchers from three universities to create
a new, high-tech tool for mapping changing plant patterns at
Tuolumne Meadows, a mountain meadow in Yosemite National Park.
The tool is a model that stitches together years of data from
the study area, including meteorological observations, stream gage
measurements, water levels at 55 wells, and vegetation surveys that
the National Park Service conducted at 222 locations.
By combining these and other factors, the model successfully
simulated how past groundwater levels influenced the type of plants
growing in the meadow. The next step is to use the model to predict
how future climate change could affect vegetation patterns, and to
test the effectiveness of potential, future restoration