Tread lightly to protect California’s superblooms

By Harrison Tasoff | UC Santa Barbara |

SCRIBD | UC SANTA BARBARA - California’s superblooms are amazing, but also fragile. Researchers have guidance for how to preserve the native flowers and landscape for the future.

In remote places, hiking off trails isn’t going to destroy the wildflowers forever since seeds can lie dormant in the soil for many years. “However, in highly visited locations, so many people walk off trail that within a few weeks, only a few patches of wildflowers remain,” says ecologist Loralee Larios, an assistant professor at UC Riverside. With heavily compacted soils and fewer flowers to produce seed, these places will likely degrade. That means fewer flowers will return during the next potential superbloom.

In order to continue enjoying superblooms in the future, the researchers say, we need to encourage behaviors and develop management approaches that reduce the likelihood of park closures and increase the likelihood of more flowers.



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