Gaviota tarplant (Deinandra increscens subsp. villosa) pollinators and wind farm impacts research
Project Dates2022 - 2024
The Gaviota tarplant (Deinandra increscens subsp. villosa) is restricted to a small section of the California coast around Point Conception. It is listed as federally endangered due to threats from habitat development and degradation, invasive annual grasses from the Mediterranean region, overgrazing, and inadequate pollination services. This annual species requires pollen from a separate individual to produce seeds, and its floral visitors are wide ranging. The Strauss Wind Energy Project will ultimately occupy 5,887 acres (2,382 hectares) of rural land south of the city of Lompoc, impacting 23 out of 232 acres (9 out of 93 hectares) of Gaviota tarplant habitat. In this project, the flower visitors of Gaviota tarplant and the other flowering plants that the Gaviota tarplant is associated with are being described, and these visitors are being monitored to determine if the wind energy project has an impact. Two years of baseline data have been gathered so far, and research is showing that the Gaviota tarplant is an important resource for insect pollinators in the region.
To determine if the Strauss Wind Energy Project has significant impacts on the flower visitors of the Gaviota tarplant and gain insight that can aid in the conservation and recovery of this rare plant
Sarah Cusser, Ph.D.
Denise Knapp, Ph.D.
Casey Richart, Ph.D.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service