One of my study sites is a restored prairie, a particularly high quality one, but a bit small. Now this little prairie is being treatened by an invasive species, silky bush clover, an Asian relative of native bush clover. It's one of those things where the focus of your research was elsewhere, and when you finally become of aware of what is happening, it's too late. This week's field work, and probably next week too, will be to harvest the silky bush clover from our long term research quadrats to document its continued invasion and increasing density. How dismal. Because this invasive species is so well adapted to the prairie environment, no obvious mechanism exists for its removal, and this isn't just one or two plants here or there. So like good scientists the demise of this prairie will be recorded; it served us well for quite a number of years, but in another decade it will be quite a different plant community, one with dense stands of the clover, much lower species diversity, with some of the taller forbs, and the grasses persisting. Here's a view across a patch of silky bush clover and notice that you don't see much else except way back some grases mark the back edge.