Conservation importance of native coastal sage scrub and non-native grassland habitat patches in urban/suburban Los Angeles County, California, USA
Results/Conclusions: More carbon was stored in the CSS (6.31 kg C m-2) than in the grassland habitat (3.06 kg C m-2). Our measurements show that CSS stores comparable amounts of carbon to that recorded in urban forests (national average: 7.69 kg C m-2; Los Angeles County average: 4.59 kg C m-2). Arthropod communities differed among all three habitat types with the largest compositional differences observed between the suburban habitat and both the CSS and non-native grassland habitats. While species richness did not differ among CSS and non-native grassland habitat types, both had significantly higher numbers of species than in the suburban habitat. In addition, while non-native arthropod species were recorded in both CSS and grassland habitats, the frequency of detection was much lower than the suburban habitat. Our results highlight that: (1) the native CSS habitat stores significant amounts of carbon, and (2) preservation of non-urban/suburban Southern California open space is essential to maintain arthropod biodiversity within the Southern California urban/suburban matrix.