Plant Ecology

Our botany group is composed of highly skilled plant taxonomists and ecologists with expertise across a range of habitats in California, the western United States, and Hawai‘i. The team is led by Dr. Kelly Hardwicke. Each of our offices has botany experts versed in local habitats and species.

Our team of botanists brings the following expertise to client projects:

  • plant taxonomy
  • habitat analysis
  • wetland ecology and delineation
  • mitigation design

Plant Taxonomy

We have team members with extraordinary taxonomic skills and uncanny abilities to correctly locate rare plants and habitats. This translates into ways to avoid project impacts and reliably locate promising mitigation sites to serve our clients’ rare plant mitigation needs. We also locate reference populations to compare to project site populations. This allows us to determine plant biology and species presence/absence on a project site even in drought years, by using an appropriate reference population as a baseline.

Habitat Analysis

Our experts have worked with special-status plants from the Mojave Desert of southern California to the coniferous and subalpine zones of the Pacific Northwest and Sierra Nevada, and to the tropical habitats of the Hawaiian Islands. We have expertise in rare plants and habitats, invasive species, plant physiology, and the soil chemistry of different habitats, including serpentine soils, native grasslands, tidal marshes, vernal pools, oak woodlands, riparian forests, Sierran forests, deserts, and more.

Wetland Ecology and Delineation

We’ve worked on some of the largest-scale wetland delineations in California, and are well practiced at preparing accurate wetland delineations for regulatory and permitting agencies. Our team combines thorough knowledge of wetland plant ecology and taxonomy with extensive training in soil science and hydrology, critical components of successful delineations. Our initial delineations rarely require revisions, even minor ones, before gaining approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Mitigation Design

Our plant ecologists, working with our restoration ecologists, are an integral part of creating innovative and successful mitigation plans. We take a multidisciplinary approach to building project teams with complementary expertise and collaborative working relationships, which result in designs that have long-term success. Our large rare plant survey efforts have helped us build a unique feature of our expertise: we are one of the only teams in the western United States that can reliably locate populations of plants to preserve or harvest for mitigation purposes. By providing creative solutions for mitigating impacts on rare plants, we help clients achieve environmental compliance in a cost-effective manner.

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