Posted: December 2, 2012
Meadow ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada (California, USA) have been maintained by the interplay of biotic and abiotic forces, where hydrological functions bridge aquatic and terrestrial realms. Meadows are not only key habitat for fishes, amphibians, birds, and mammals alike, but also provide enumerable ecosystem services to humans, not limited to regulating services (e.g., water filtration), provisioning services (e.g., grazing), and aesthetics. Across the Sierra Nevada, montane meadow ecosystems are paradoxically the most important providers of ecosystem services and the most threatened with human activity, and are at risk from a variety of threats, including hydroclimatic alteration.