Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Grim look at state's plant life (California, that is)

"If temperatures rise rapidly in California this century, up to two-thirds of the state's native plants might lose large swaths of suitable habitat, according to a new study. " ... this estimation comes from researchers at many universities who released maps showing effects on plant species from climate change. As the environment warms up it changes the conditions, and both plants and animals tend to have narrow ranges of environment conditions in which they will live. If a given plant's preferred temperature range is between 70-90 degrees F and the ambient temperatures are regularly above 100 degrees the plant is likely to die. Further the area which has the preferred temperature range will move, either uphill (higher elevations have cooler temperatures) or further north. An effect that's been observed is for plant and animal species to be found higher and higher up mountains, and that some species eventually can go no higher in elevation because there's no more mountain, meaning the species will completely die out.

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