The McLaughlin Reserve is one of few sites in California that protects unusual serpentine habitats. Chemically hostile to most plants, serpentine deposits cover one third of the reserve, creating islands of rare and endemic plants that have adapted to these harsh soils along with numerous associated endemic insects. Where there are non-serpentine soils, the vegetation shifts suddenly to more typical coast range habitats, including riparian woodland, blue oak woodland and savannah, grassland, and chaparral. Click on the images below for details about the different aspects of McLaughlin's natural history. These sections provide general information on McLaughlin's natural history. More technical information, in the form of species lists and reports, is also available.
Land Use - The history of humans in the Morgan Valley and Knoxville areas.
Geology - The processes that influenced (and still influence) the formation of the McLaughlin Reserve.
Vegetation - Vegetation at McLaughlin, the places they occur, and the plants that comprise them.
Insects - Insects living at the McLaughlin Reserve.
Birds - The flying creatures of the McLaughlin Reserve
Mammals - The mammals seen and encountered at McLaughlin
Aquatic Ecology – The Reserve’s aquatic ecosystem.