Drought Tames California’s Wildflowers

A study from the University of California, Davis finds native wildflowers in California are losing species diversity after multiple years of drier winters. This provides the first direct evidence of climate change impacts in the state’s grassland communities. “Such diversity losses may foreshadow larger-scale extinctions, especially in regions that are becoming increasingly dry,” said lead author Susan Harrison, a professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. The future grassland communities of California are expected to be less productive, provide less nutrition to herbivores, and become more vulnerable to invasion by exotic species, the study said.

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