This story in the Los Angeles Times is a great primer on the value and threats to native chaparral vegetation in California. More people in more sprawl developments and more infrastructure like roads and power lines mean more accidental wildfires. According to the article, “Frequent big fires mean that shrublands that would naturally burn at intervals of 30 to 60 years — or even a century or more — are sometimes torched at intervals of a decade or less. When that happens, resprouting species don’t have sufficient time to regrow. Non-sprouting shrubs can’t reach maturity and shower the ground with a new seed bank. Invaders can then take over in a process ecologists call type conversion.