"Losing a very unique species may be worse than losing one with a close relative in the community," said [co-author Todd] Oakley. "The more evolutionary history that is represented in a plant community, the more productive it is." [Post-doctoral fellow Marc W.] Cadotte explained that the buttercup is a very unique species, evolutionarily. Losing the buttercup, where it occurs in grasslands, would have a much bigger impact on the system than losing a daisy or a sunflower, for example. The latter species are closely related. Each could therefore help fill the niche of the other, if one were to be lost. The daisy and sunflower also have a more similar genetic make-up.