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 When corals eat plastics
24.05.2018 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

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: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>