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.

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 August 29, 2014 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 August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — The mystery of the moving rocks in Death Valley, California, has finally been solved. Scientists are pointing to a combo of water, ice and wind. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

AP (Aug. 27, 2014) — Thundering surf spawned by Hurricane Marie pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town. High surf warnings were posted for Los Angeles County south through Orange County. (Aug. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

AP (Aug. 26, 2014) — Researchers at UC Berkeley are testing a prototype of an earthquake early warning system that California is pursuing years after places like Mexico and Japan already have them up and running. (August 26) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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