Global warming may increase dispersal of flora in Northern forests

Written by: Super Admin
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Washington, June 12 (ANI): A new research has indicated that an increase in temperature of only a couple of degrees may increase the dispersal of plants in Northern forests and the spread of plant species into forest clearings after felling or forest fires.

The research, in the impact of global warming on seed and pollen dispersal, was led by University of Helsinki researcher Anna Kuparinen.

The goal was to learn whether global warming would accelerate the dispersal of plant populations in forests.

The research group utilized the micrometeorological data gathered over a decade at the Hyytidld Forestry Field Station.

Seed and pollen dispersal profoundly affects the dynamics and genetic variation of plant populations. Spreading into more favourable areas will help them survive in the warming climate.

Wind conditions play a key role, as turbulent vertical streams, in particular, spread seeds very efficiently, even over long distances.

The researchers also discovered that a temperature that is only three degrees Celsius warmer increased the dispersal of seeds and the speed at which populations spread throughout the growth season.

Particularly for those plants that have light seeds, the annual spreading speed increased dramatically, by approximately 30 meters.

On the basis of these results, it seems that global warming accelerates the spread of plants, but it will not alone be sufficient to help plant populations to relocate to new vegetation zones.

However, on a more local level, global warming may have a significant impact, as original and newly introduced species spread faster from one place to another and take over new patches of habitat. (ANI)

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