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Vernal pools hold waters of life


San Diego Union-Tribune--At first blush, the shallow ponds that dot the Miramar plateau near state Route 163 seem like mere puddles. One formed when a piece of heavy equipment rolled off a dirt road and created a trough that filled with water during winter storms.

But these spots don’t dry up a few days after it rains. They can last several weeks, long enough to create habitat for dozens of species including shrimp, frogs, worms, insects and water-loving plants, some of which have nearly disappeared from California.

“It’s just its own little tiny universe,” said Katie Davis, a University of San Diego lab technician who studies seasonal wetlands (Full Story ).



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