"Changes in consumption patterns in wine, almonds, olives and other orchard crops may be driving the expansion of these crop types in rangeland ecosystems. Wine grape acreage increased in the state during the time period covered in this study by 56%  with the contribution of the northern Central Valley outpacing the increase in more traditional wine regions such as Napa and Sonoma counties, due to the region's role in producing varietals whose popularity has grown in recent decades, such as merlot, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon . Increases in international consumption of almonds and olives may be contributing to the expansion of these crops in the region. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Land use change in rangeland ecosystems is pervasive throughout the western United States with widespread ecological, social and economic implications. In California, rangeland habitats have high biodiversity value, provide significant habitat connectivity and form the foundation for a number of ecosystem services. To comprehensively assess the conservation status of these habitats, we analyzed the extent and drivers of habitat loss and the degree of protection against future loss across a 13.5 M ha study area in California. We analyzed rangeland conversion between 1984 and 2008 using time series GIS data and classified resulting land uses with aerial imagery. In total, over 195,000 hectares of rangeland habitats were converted during this period. The majority of conversions were to residential and associated commercial development (49% of the area converted), but agricultural intensification was surprisingly extensive and diverse (40% across six categories). Voluntary enrollment in an agricultural tax incentive program provided widespread protection from residential and commercial conversions across 37% of the remaining rangeland habitat extent (7.5 M ha), though this program did not protect rangeland from conversion to more intensive agricultural uses. Additionally, 24% of the remaining rangeland was protected by private conservation organizations or public agencies through land or easement ownership while 38% had no protection status at all. By developing a spatial method to analyze the drivers of loss and patterns of protection, this study demonstrates a novel approach to prioritize conservation strategies and implementation locations to avert habitat conversion. We propose that this approach can be used in other ecosystem types, and can serve as a regional conservation baseline assessment to focus strategies to effect widespread, cost-effective conservation solutions.
PLoS ONE 12/2014; In Press(8). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0103468 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study was done in order to determine if there is a demand in California for wines originating in the Eastern European Country of Georgia. A survey was used in order to collect primary data from 100 respondents in two locations. The surveys were conducted in Pleasanton, CA and in San Luis Obispo, CA and were later analyzed using surveymonkey.com Microsoft Excel 2008. The data was analyzed using chi square tests, independent t-tests as well as observed frequencies and charts. The tests were used to determine demographic data about California wine consumers and to measure their interest in wines from Georgia. From the data collected, two groups were found in wine consumers. The first group was respondents under the age of 35, while the second group was those over the age of 35. The older age group was determined to be more interested in certain characteristics when purchasing wine, and was more likely to buy a wine from the country of Georgia.This study could be used by others to help understand the wine industry and consumer wants. For foreign import countries like Georgia this study may be very helpful in understanding how consumers in California choose wines and why they would be either likely or unlikely to purchase new and unique wines.
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