DAVIS (KCBS)— Researchers at UC Davis say the diversity of California’s wildflowers may be permanently changed because of years of dry weather.

A new study found that for the last 15 years, the months of December and February have had long periods of dry and occasionally hot weather.

Those conditions dry out topsoil, making it hard for wildflower seedlings to get a foothold.

Even if the trend of hot, dry winters ends, researchers say the wildflower population may not fully recover.