Monterey Pine Forest Ecology Cooperative

Research grants

Monterey pines at Cambria, CA USA, 1978. Photo credit: Ken Eldridge, CSIRO, Forestry and Forest Products, Canberra, Australia


Conservation planning and conservation-directed management of forests is best assured of long-term success if based on science. However, science does not make its way from refereed journals to conservation practice without considerable selection, interpretation, and application. In fact, deciding what scientific information is most relevant, and how to interpret and apply this information, is a critical but weak link in the process of science-based forest management.

The native Monterey pine forests of central coastal California and two Mexican islands are in need of science-based, conservation-directed management. These forests are ecologically and culturally significant. This species and its associated flora and fauna form a unique natural assemblage that occurs nowhere else. Natural pressures to which the species responds—such as climate change—have been accompanied over recent decades by human-caused influences such as significant loss of habitat to urban and recreational development, forest fragmentation, genetic contamination, and, most recently, high mortality from an introduced (exotic) pathogen complex often called pitch canker. The natural diversity and complex processes, together with the many influences on these forests, combine to create an extremely dynamic and multidisciplinary challenge for management of Monterey pine forests. There is a need for a politically neutral forum to exchange and discuss scientific information that is generally supportive to Monterey pine forest conservation in the long term.

The Monterey Pine Forest Ecology Cooperative has been organized to act as a science-based support group for Monterey pine forests to assist in providing scientific information for conservation planning, conservation management, research, and educational efforts for native Monterey pine forests. This organization is a cross-boundary entity, with members from the Monterey pine land-holding agencies and land trusts, policy-administering agencies, private companies with large forest holdings, interested/involved nongovernmental organizations, universities with faculty who are actively doing research on Monterey pine forest ecology and genetics, and other research or conservation organizations as appropriate.

This project relates to the entire natural range of native Monterey pine forest in California (Año Nuevo, Monterey/Carmel, and Cambria areas) and on Guadalupe and Cedros Islands (Mexico). Many management decisions for these forests will be better informed with a rangewide context. The interconnections facilitated will no doubt have positive effects on other ecosystem types.

This project has been initiated with financial support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.


  • To provide a forum for those involved with Monterey pine forest management and scientists (emphasizing the ecological sciences) to discuss the application of science to the practical aspects of conservation of native populations of Monterey pine and its associated ecosystem processes and species.
  • To infuse scientific information, scientific understanding, and scientist participation in processes related to conservation of native Monterey pine forests.
  • To provide a politically neutral science advisory body to offer information towards management, planning, training, and public education in the domain of Monterey pine forest conservation.
  • To improve public awareness and understanding of Monterey pine forests using science-based information.
  • To provide opportunities to improve the understanding of the biology of Monterey pine forests via workshops and symposia.
  • To consider and recommend the critical needs in Monterey pine forest research as related to conservation efforts and to stimulate such research with networking, assistance with grant proposals, and administering a small grants program to stimulate interest in Monterey pine forest biology among conservation biology-oriented graduate students.



July 27, 2005. Special seminar. City Council Chambers, Monterey, CA.

June 8, 2004. Ninth general meeting. Elkus Ranch, Half Moon Bay, CA.

December 4, 2003. Eighth general meeting. Cambria, CA.

July 2, 2003. Seventh general meeting, Pebble Beach, CA.

November 15, 2002. Sixth general meeting, Rancho del Oso, CA.

March 4, 2002. Fifth general meeting, Hearst Castle, CA.

December 11, 2001. Fourth general meeting, Pebble Beach, CA.

October 10, 2001. Special event, Pebble Beach, CA.

September 7, 2001. Third general meeting, Rancho del Oso, CA.

June 26, 2001. Second general meeting, Camp Ocean Pines, Cambria, CA.

May 29, 2001. Seminar by Dr. A. Colin Matheson of Forestry and Forest Products, CSIRO, Canberra, Australia.

March 2, 2001. Organizational meeting, Monterey, CA.

Research Grants.

Status of most recent call for proposals

The Monterey Pine Forest Ecology Cooperative aims to improve the use of science in service of conservation of native Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) forests. To contribute to this goal, the Cooperative offered several research grants in 2003 to support research that will contribute to the understanding and conservation management of native California Monterey pine forests. The current awardees and project titles are:

  • Holly Alpert, Dept. of Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz CA. “Climate change impacts on Monterey pine recruitment
  • Jason Hoeksema, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz CA, “Are Monterey pines and their mycorrhizal fungi locally adapted to each other?
  • Leslie Lazarotti, Dept. of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco CA. “Effect of Monterey pine invasion into coastal scrub on vegetation dynamics at San Pedro Point, Pacifica
  • Qian Yu, Dept. of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley CA. “Mapping Monterey pine at San Francisco and Northern San Mateo Coast using remote sensing technique

Previous awardees and topics

Based on the 2001 call for research proposals, four grants were awarded to young researchers at California universities to conduct research related to Monterey pine forest ecology. The awards were provided through the Monterey Pine Forest Ecology Cooperative with funding from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Brief summaries from these projects are provided at the links below. In some cases, the research has been completed; in others, the studies are ongoing and there will be further results.

Many members of the Cooperative contributed to these projects with expertise, provision of supplies, facilitation of access to research sites, assistance with field work, or review of the preliminary reports. These contributions have made the studies more robust and their results more useful to Monterey pine forest conservation. Such contributions from Cooperative members are gratefully acknowledged.


For information on any aspect of the Monterey Pine Forest Ecology Cooperative, please contact:

Dr. Deborah L. Rogers
Phone: (510) 845-9636
FAX: (530) 754-8505
Mail: GRCP, University of California, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616

This page last updated April 26, 2006. Copyright UC Regents. All rights reserved.