The researcher Mats Töpel 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.Contact:
Helena Aaberg | idw
Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory
26.04.2017 | Universität Basel
Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy