Help Track the Health of Redwood Forests
In 2008, League scientist Emily Burns discovered that the height of the most common plant in the coast redwood forest is affected by how much rain and fog fall in the woods. Western sword fern (Polystichum munitum) has tall fronds in wet redwood forests and much shorter fronds in dry forests. For this reason, sword fern is an important indicator of climate change and we are studying these ferns to detect drought in the redwood forest.
Just by monitoring the ferns on the forest floor, you can help League scientists learn how changes in climate may be affecting redwood forest habitats. You can help us track changes in these ferns in your local forest by photographing and taking measurements of ferns through our Fern Watch Project on the free iNaturalist App