Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Plants disappear as a result of climate changes

08.05.2012
Climate changes mean that species are disappearing from European mountain regions. This is shown by new research involving biologists from the University of Gothenburg, the results of which are now being publishing in the journals Nature and Science.

Within the framework of the GLORIA project, researchers from all over Europe have gathered information about alpine plants from all European mountain ranges.

Alpine plants are disappearing

GLORIA, which started as an EU project examining biodiversity and changes in all European mountain ranges, has studied summits from the Sierra Nevada in the south to the Scandinavian mountain range in the north, and from Scotland in the west to the Urals and the Caucasus in the east. The results show that species which prefer a colder environment are disappearing from the mountain ranges in Southern Europe. Since many of these species have small distribution areas, they are now threatened with extinction.

“These species have migrated upwards, but sooner or later the mountain reaches its summit,” explains researcher and biologist Ulf Molau. “Many alpine plant species are disappearing from mountain ranges in Southern Europe, and for some of them – those that are only found in a single mountain range – the outlook is extremely bleak.”

Mapping the mountain ranges

Over a period of ten years, researchers around Europe have gathered samples from 13 different mountain regions. Using digital technology and intensive on-site field work, they have been able to study a grid pattern of square metres, carefully selected on different high mountain summits, from the tree line up to the highest peaks. The digital photographs provide a detailed picture of which species have disappeared between 2001 and the present day.

“Every research square is digitally photographed so that we can find our way back to the exact same position after ten years or more, with centimetre precision,” continues Professor Molau. “And by rolling out an analysis network, small 10 x 10 cm squares can be re-mapped.”

Today, the researchers are able to note that species are migrating upwards and that the variety of species in Southern European mountain regions has declined during the ten years in which samples have been taken.

Woodland species are climbing

In our Scandinavian mountain range, the changes are taking place at a slower rate.

“Here, alpine plant species generally have a much wider distribution, often across the entire Arctic, when compared with species in mountain ranges such the Alps, the Pyrenees and the Caucasus. What we are seeing in Sweden is increased upward migration of woodland species, which in the long term may start to outcompete the alpine ‘specialists’.”

Professor Molau has studied both plants and animals in Sweden, at Latnjajaure in Abisko close to the Norwegian border.

“By analysing small networks of squares, we can see what has appeared and what has disappeared.”

Today, GLORIA is a mega-network covering all the world’s mountain regions, but it is the original European arm of GLORIA that has reached a stage where researchers have started to observe changes.

Find out more about GLORIA at http://www.gloria.ac.at/res/gloria_europe/default.cfm

For more information, please contact:
Professor Ulf Molau, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg
Telephone: +46 (0)31 786 2665
E-mail: Ulf.Molau@dpes.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://www.gloria.ac.at/res/gloria_europe/default.cfm

Further reports about: Caucasus Gothenburg Plants Scandinavian Sierra Nevada plant species

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Emissions from road construction could be halved using today’s technology
18.05.2020 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council

nachricht When every particle counts: IOW develops comprehensive guidelines for microplastic extraction from environmental samples
11.05.2020 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

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: New measurement exacerbates old problem

Two prominent X-ray emission lines of highly charged iron have puzzled astrophysicists for decades: their measured and calculated brightness ratios always disagree. This hinders good determinations of plasma temperatures and densities. New, careful high-precision measurements, together with top-level calculations now exclude all hitherto proposed explanations for this discrepancy, and thus deepen the problem.

Hot astrophysical plasmas fill the intergalactic space, and brightly shine in stellar coronae, active galactic nuclei, and supernova remnants. They contain...

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Perfect optics through light scattering

02.06.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

The digital construction site: A smarter way of building with mobile robots

02.06.2020 | Architecture and Construction

Process behind the organ-specific elimination of chromosomes in plants unveiled

02.06.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>