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
Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
27.06.2017 | Information Technology
27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy