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A long time ago in a desert far, far away positive plant interactions have become a pivotal concept in better understanding the dynamics of natural communities. In particular, shrubs in arid and semi-arid regions globally, and certainly within California, provide an anchor for many other species including other plants, animals, and insects. The important and likely diverse functions of shrubs within these ecosystems are relatively unexplored. Positive interactions associated with these foundation species will serve as ‘force’ for restoration and management for years to come provided the needed ecology is studied.