Climate change kills plants endemic to the mountains of Europe

Climate change is forcing many to migrate to the tops of the plants of the hills and mountains, and this movement is the most negative impact on the lives of many endemic plants in the mountains of Europe, which ultimately "invaders" from the lower tiers, say climate scientists in a paper published in the journal Science.

In the last decade, climate scientists found evidence of a "flight" of many plants and animals from their familiar climates to cooler due to climate change. In August 2011, British climate scientists have shown that tropical plants "escape" is 17.6 kilometers away from the equator and 12.2 meters from sea level up with each passing year. Particularly strong, these phenomena occur in the mountains, on the slopes where there is more than one high-altitude climates.

Mountain Watch

Michael Godfrey (Michael Gottfried) from the University of Vienna (Austria) and his colleagues, including Russian scientists and Dmitry Paul Moses of the Institute of Ecology Animal and Plant Sciences in Ekaterinburg, studied the effects of climate change on the flora and fauna of the mountains all over Europe.

Climatologists most European countries led by Gottfried organized global network of monitoring of mountain ecosystems in 2000. Since that time, the scientists studied the status of plants and animals on the slopes of the mountainous regions of Europe 66, which includes all the major mountain ranges in the region.

In particular, the number went Scandinavian mountains, the Urals, the Caucasus, the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Balkans, the Tatra Mountains, the Apennines, Carpathians and other mountain ranges in Europe.

The authors have divided each area into separate climate zones, where every year the local vegetation samples were collected and cataloged species present. In this climate scientists did not consider the single plants and potentially erroneous information, which they are always excluded from the data set for analysis.

Green aggressors

By 2008, climate scientists have completed data collection and started processing them. Researchers estimate that over the seven years of study of the species diversity increased by 45 stations, has not changed in 11 and decreased in 10 mountain regions. On average, the number of alpine species has increased from 34.9 to 37.7.

Most of all "persons" was in the mountain ranges in northern and temperate latitudes is the number of species increased from 38 to 42. On the other hand, eight of the 14 southern European mountain ranges have lost several plant species, and only two of them have become new species of flora.

As the scientists explain, in most cases, local endemic species were displaced or have been under intense pressure from the other plants, infiltrated into a fiefdom endemic under pressure of a changing climate. According to them, every year, new plants rise by about 2.7 meters, reducing the area of habitat of local flora.

According to the researchers, the last year of observation on one of the mountains they have not managed to find about 31% of the endemic species cataloged in 2001. In general, the population of endemic decreased from 24.5% in 2001 to 23.4% in 2008.

"The loss of species diversity was most pronounced at the lower top of the mountains, where the plants will suffer from lack of water used compared to the high snow-capped peaks. Global warming and reduced precipitation in the Mediterranean in recent decades is well explained by the reduction of species in those places where we have recorded . Note that the Mediterranean region will become even drier in the next decade, "- concludes another member Harald Pauli (Harald Pauli) of the University of Vienna.

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