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Climate change has extended the flowering period in Duana National Park to 22 days.

Patterns of change in flowering initiation and termination were studied in a Mediterranean shrub community. The ‘Flowering’ column represents a variety of changes in flowering period from the 1980s to the 2020s. The ‘start’ and ‘end’ columns show the direction of change for the start and end dates of flowering respectively, the ‘example’ column provides the image and name of the species representing each phenological change. The ‘Spp n’ column shows the number and percentage of species presenting each type of phenological change. Credit: History of Botany (2023). DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcad193

Researchers from the University of Seville have studied how the flowering of 51 species of shrubs, bushes and trees has changed over the past 35 years in Doñana National Park to understand how plant communities have adapted to climate change in the south of the Iberian Peninsula. How are they reacting? .

During this period, the average temperature in the region has increased by 1 °C. As a result, by 2°C, the maximum flowering time of the community, the time when most species are in flower, is brought forward by 22 days, from 9 May to 17 April. the study Published in History of Botany.

This first flowering is not only due to a few species; Rather, 80% of species advanced flowering, while 68% advanced flowering. The most advanced species is rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus), which has been brought forward for 92 days.

Additionally, because the start and end dates of flowering are not being brought forward equally, many species bloom longer, leading to combinations of species that did not previously occur together. Blooms: 55% of species now find a “crowded” neighborhood of flowers, which may increase competition for the attention of pollinators.

Flowering is an important moment in the life of plants, because they reproduce sexually through flowers. In order for a plant to reproduce, it must flower at the same time as its neighbors, and since plants cannot move, they rely on insects to carry pollen (containing male gametes) from flower to flower. , so the activities of plants and insects are essential. Be compatible.

However, due to climate change, plants are already flowering. As shown by several studies published in Europe, Asia and North America. The problem also includes the fact that the effects of climate change are being felt in the Mediterranean more than in other parts of the world, where temperatures are rising 20 percent faster than the global average.

Vegetation responses to climate change in the Doñana environment are among the largest described to date in the world. We know that plants need to “accumulate” heat hours to know when to flower, and they are likely reaching the desired amount much earlier. Some Consequently, fruiting or germination may occur at less favorable times of the year (beyond drought) or may face unexpected competition from pollinators.

This research was made possible by the fact that the flowers of this plant community were studied in the 1980s. The aim of this study was a different one and it was not possible to predict how useful this data would be in showing the impact of climate change on our biodiversity.

Studies monitoring natural communities require a long-term perspective, which is often incompatible with the reality of research projects that need to be completed in the short term. In this case, basic research has increased our understanding of a global problem such as the magnitude of its effects. On biodiversity and our environment.

More information:
Daniel Pareja-Bonilla et al, Better soon than never: climate change induces robust phenological reconnection in Mediterranean shrub community blooms, History of Botany (2023). DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcad193

Reference: Climate change brings flowering period up 22 days in Dowana National Park, study (2024, February 16) Accessed on 17 February 2024 at https://phys.org/news/2024-02-climate-brought-period – obtained from doana-national.html

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