Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Climate change affects geographical range of plants, study finds

Date:
August 16, 2010
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Researches in Sweden have shown how climate change many million years ago has influenced the geographical range of plants by modeling climate preferences for extinct species. The method can also be used to predict what effects climate change of today and tomorrow will have on future distributions of plants and animals.

The white form of Ivesia bailey.

Researches at the University of Gothenburg have shown how climate change many million years ago has influenced the geographical range of plants by modelling climate preferences for extinct species. The method can also be used to predict what effects climate change of today and tomorrow will have on future distributions of plants and animals.

Related Articles


The researcher Mats T๖pel at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, has studied how climate change has influenced the development of a group of plants in the genus Potentilla, commonly known as cinquefoils.

His research shows that this group of plants developed during a period of climate change in western North America around 25 million years ago, which led to summer drought in California and the largest desert in North America, the Great Basin.

The small plant Ivesia bailey is adapted to living in extremely dry conditions, by seeking shade on north-facing rocks in the Nevada Desert. This lifestyle is believed to have evolved in the genus Potentilla around 20 million years ago.

Models of the climate

"By creating models of the climate in which the group probably evolved, I have shown that there was a suitable climate in the eastern part of the Great Basin approximately 25 million years ago, and that the geographical range of these plants expanded to the west at the same time as new species evolved and adapted to different types of environments. The method of building climate models for organisms that no longer exist is quite new, and only a few studies of this type have previously been published.

Models can be used to predict the future

"I have used the method to study how climate change many millions of years ago has shaped the vegetation we see today, but it can also be used to predict how present and future climate change may affect organisms and hence, our living conditions. If these changes lead to a situation in which the crops we depend on find it difficult to cope, large resources will be required to maintain or reorganise our agricultural production.

Future climate change may also lead to alien species changing their geographical ranges and starting to interact with native species, in the same way as both marine and terrestrial species have done in recent years. This can eventually lead to native species being outrivaled by the alien species.

"Based on my results and this method we have an opportunity to understand processes that where active in the past and that have shaped the environment we live in today. This gives us an opportunity to interpret our contemporary world so that we can influence what our future will look like."

The thesis Phylogenetic and Phyloclimatic Inference of the Evolution of Potentilleae (Rosaceae) was successfully defended on 11 June.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Climate change affects geographical range of plants, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100815111610.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2010, August 16). Climate change affects geographical range of plants, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100815111610.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Climate change affects geographical range of plants, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100815111610.htm (accessed March 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, March 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

AP (Feb. 28, 2015) — Researchers following endangered killer whales spotted a baby orca off the coast of Washington state, the third birth documented this winter but still leaving the population dangerously low. (Feb. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bridge Collapses Due to Flooding in Bolivia

Bridge Collapses Due to Flooding in Bolivia

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 28, 2015) — Heavy rain and flooding sweep through parts of Bolivia causing damage and leaves more than 2,000 people homeless. Sophia Soo reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Death Toll from Afghan Avalanches Tops 200

Death Toll from Afghan Avalanches Tops 200

AFP (Feb. 27, 2015) — More than 200 people have been killed in a series of avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall in Afghanistan. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
France, Philippines Call for Agreement on Climate Change

France, Philippines Call for Agreement on Climate Change

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) — The presidents of France and the Philippines issue a joint appeal for a binding agreement on climate change. Katie Sargent reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins