For some species, it may be the first time in their history that they are being wiped out.
Florida native plants that depend on plants, such as red clover, will be extinct in some areas in the next few decades, according to a new study.
The findings come at a time when Florida is losing one-fifth of its native plants, including many native to Florida’s coastal region.
“We have been doing an excellent job of conservation, and that’s a key part of what I do,” said Dr. Karen Sievers, an associate professor at Florida International University.
“But it’s not enough.
We need to continue to conserve native plants.”
The new study shows that the loss of Florida’s plant communities is likely to have significant negative effects on the health of other native plants.
“If we lose a lot of these plants, they will be very vulnerable,” Sievers said.
“They will be in trouble for the next 100 years,” she added.
For example, if Florida loses a lot more of its red clovers, there could be a reduction in the number of native plants in the Florida Everglades and the surrounding region, Sievers explained.
That would mean more of the native plants will be susceptible to diseases, and it could also lead to a loss of a lot less native plants over time.
“It’s not that we don’t know what is going to happen to those plants, it’s that we’re not aware of the extent to which it’s going to affect native plants,” Sivers said.
In fact, researchers at the University of South Florida are hoping to study the effects of the loss in their native plants as a potential solution.
“I’m hoping that this is something that can be applied to other native plant communities,” Siver said.
Researchers at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which is coordinating the study, are currently looking into the effects the loss will have on native plants around the state.