Photo Competition Climate Crisis Submission - Fields

In the front is a threatened species of flower, Phacelia hubbyi. In the back, an invasive species of flower, Brassica nigra, coating the hillsides yellow. Soon, due to climate change, invasive species like this will dominate the hills I call home.
I am a queer plant biologist in the Santa Monica Mountains studying native and invasive species. As climate change alters our world, wildfires become more frequent in southern California. Rare ecosystems like coastal sage scrub are being converted by too frequent of fires in to invasive annual grasslands made of mustard and oats from Eurasia. Species that are already restricted in range and size like Phacelia hubbyi may go extinct, as monocultures of weeds replace them. This also affects the animals that depend on this ecosystems for food and shelter, forever altering the ecosystem.
Restoration projects can slow this habitat type conversation. Organizations like Mountain Restoration Trust in our community are fighting to preserve our native habitats, many others exist as well. Supporting these organizations and volunteering your time is one way in which you can help slow the effects of climate change.