Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Atlantic trees will be affected the most by climate change on the Iberian Peninsula

25.06.2008
The extreme heat wave that destroyed the territories of Western Europe in the summer of 2003 was an evident scientific sign of the change that climate is undergoing.

Now, researchers from the University of the Basque Country (Universidad del País Vasco) have studied the responses to the midsummer heat of the Mediterranean and Atlantic trees and bushes of the Iberian Peninsula to conclude that the latter species will suffer most with the increase in temperatures.

Researchers from the Department of Plant Biology and Ecology from the University of the Basque Country have shown the response capacity of Mediterranean and Atlantic plants. ?We were able to notice that all species responded in a similar way, through the accumulation of photoprotective compounds (tocopherol or Vitamin E), reduction in clorophyll content and the activation of the so called xanthophyll cycle, points out José Ignacio Garcia-Plazaola, the first signatory of the study.

The study, which is published in the journal called Trees - Structure and Function, compares the effects of the summer of 2003 with the same period for 1998, 1999 and 2001. Generally, all the summers were dry, but in 2003 there was an average increase of 5o C, and this was considered to be the most stressful time for the trees, which turned yellow and the trees started to shed their leaves before the autumn.

Differences between the Mediterranean and Atlantic species

The researchers noticed a notable difference between the Mediterranean and Atlantic species. The Mediterranean species were much more plastic, having a much greater ability to stimulate the defence systems states García-Plazaola. With regard to the distribution of Atlantic species, scientists recorded the partial extinction of trees or bushes, such as the bearberry (Arctostaphylos), after the heat wave.

The study shows that the Atlantic species have less ability to respond to acute summer stress because of their responses to photosynthesis and the induction of photoprotective molecules. However, the majority of Mediterranean species, as they keep their green leaves throughout the year, are much more protected in the presence of environmental adversities and have developed mechanisms which allow them to acclimatise in an efficient way in the presence of heat waves and episodic cold waves as well.

According to the research, this phenomenon could be of special significance in the context of future global warming when the Atlantic species would be affected more. This result creates doubts about the future viability of certain Atlantic species that find their distribution limit on the Iberian Peninsula, as is the case of the beech tree (F. sylvatica), concludes García-Plazaola.

The unusually hot period that affected Europe in the summer of 2003 may have been the most extreme heat wave in the last 200 years. The plant species had to deal with an unequalled level of environmental stress (or adversity) in their entire existence, circumstances that they will have to face more and more frequently as a consequence of climate change.

Five years after the heat wave the Mediterranean species (Box and Holm Oak) remain the same but it has not been possible for the Atlantic species (Bearberry) to recover and it has disappeared. Photo: SINC/José Ignacio

Garcia-Plazaola.

SINC Team | alfa
Further information:
http://www.lg.ehu.es
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Value from wastewater
16.08.2017 | Hochschule Landshut

nachricht Species Richness – a false friend? Scientists want to improve biodiversity assessments
01.08.2017 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>