Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plasticity of plants helps them adapt to climate change

Date:
March 17, 2011
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
The phenotypic plasticity of plants, which enables them to change their structure and function, helps them to adapt to environmental change, according to new research. This research will make it easier to anticipate plants' response to current climate change.

Spring. Each plant responds in different ways to temperature changes.
Credit: Fernando Valladares

An international study, with Spanish participation, has shown that the phenotypic plasticity of plants, which enables them to change their structure and function, helps them to adapt to environmental change. This research will make it easier to anticipate plants' response to current climate change.

Related Articles


The study, which has been published in Trends in Plant Science, provides an overview of plants' molecular and genetic mechanisms, which is important for ecologists, physiologists and molecular biologists, since it covers the prime requirements for anticipating plants' response to global change.

The results show that plants in natural and agricultural systems have "the capacity to adapt to a changing environment without requiring any evolutionary changes, which always happens over several generations," Fernando Valladares, one of the authors of the paper and a researcher at the National Museum of Natural Sciences (CSIC), said.

All plant species exhibit a greater or lesser degree of plasticity. "Various studies suggest that species from more heterogeneous and changing environments have greater degrees of plasticity. For example, plants from these environments have great root plasticity in order to be able to take better advantage of fertile and damp areas and to avoid sterile, dry ones," Valladares explains.

Plants' pigmentation, root length, leaf mass and efficiency of water use are some of the leading indicators used to study the phenotypic plasticity of plant organisms.

"The differences in plasticity and its mechanisms allow us to better understand why various plant species grow where they do. This will enable us to project their most likely ranges in climate change scenarios," the researcher says.

Less productivity, greater survival

The advantages of plants changing their structure and function in the face of environmental change "could lead to the selection -- in the case of crops -- of more plastic varieties, which may not necessarily be the most productive, nor have the most easily-predictable productivity," the scientist stresses.

According to Valladares, the next step is "to understand the mechanisms that underlie plasticity, such as epigenetics -- non-genetic factors that determine an organism's development -- and how this impacts on the biological efficacy of wild species or on the long-term yield of agricultural species."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. A.B. Nicotra, O.K. Atkin, S.P. Bonser, A.M. Davidson, E.J. Finnegan, U. Mathesius, P. Poot, M.D. Purugganan, C.L. Richards, F. Valladares. Plant phenotypic plasticity in a changing climate. Trends in Plant Science, 2010; 15 (12): 684 DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2010.09.008

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Plasticity of plants helps them adapt to climate change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110316084909.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2011, March 17). Plasticity of plants helps them adapt to climate change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110316084909.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Plasticity of plants helps them adapt to climate change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110316084909.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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