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California's Fading WildflowersLost Legacy and Biological Invasions$
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Richard Minnich

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520253537

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520253537.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 20 October 2019

The Golden State

The Golden State

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter 1 The Golden State
Source:
California's Fading Wildflowers
Author(s):

Richard A. Minnich

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520253537.003.0001

California is historically and metaphorically symbolized as the “Golden State” in tribute to the gold rush of 1849, but for many living in the state, gold is also a reminder of its sunny Mediterranean climate, or perhaps the Golden Gate Bridge. After describing California, this chapter introduces the central hypotheses of the book: California's pre-Hispanic vegetation consisted of vast carpets of wildflowers, not bunch grasslands; the introduction of European species triggered a biological invasion; the transformation of herbaceous cover began along the coast and shifted inland, the pace of change was dependent on habitat, climate variability; and, most importantly, the time of arrival and adaptive modes of the invaders; and the collapse of indigenous forblands over most of California happened with the invasion of bromes in the twentieth century.

Keywords:   gold, California, pre-Hispanic vegetation, biological invasion, indigenous forblands

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