Plants adapt to survive global warming

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Plants adapt to survive global warming

Phenology makes it possible to describe the seasonal development phases plants, whether during leafing, flowering or fruiting. The study of plant phenology then allows scientists to understand adaptation systems used by plants in the face of climate change. This is why, on July 28, a research team led by Professor HUANG Jianguo from the College of Life Sciences of Zhejiang University released the results of their work. on the phenology of six timber plants growing in temperate zones.

Ecology concept environment change forest of trees drought and refreshing flying bird forest

In particular, the researchers compared the impact of climate change on the period of fruit development and the vegetative growth of these temperate ligneous species. They then discovered that these two events were evolving at the same time as climate change, but not necessarily at the same speed.

These results suggest that each species develops its own phenological strategy reproduction in the face of global warming.

Different coping strategies in woody plants

Global warming has significantly altered plant phenology over the past decades. Extreme temperatures as well as water pricing following intense drought episodes disrupt homeostasis of their cells and force them to adopt adaptive strategies.

some plants stretch their roots or expanding their leaves to survive in an increasingly hostile environment. Previous studies have already looked at plant phenology, but the period of fruit development that extends from flowering to fruiting remains largely unexplored.

Different reproductive techniques in woody species

HUANG Jianguo and his team analyzed data collected from more than 560,000 sightings in situ of the flowering and fruiting dates of six temperate ligneous species. These were planted on 2958 sites European phenological observations between 1980 and 2013.

The results of this study made it possible to highlight phenological strategies of reproduction different from one species to another under the pressure of global warming. In contrast, the lengthening of the vegetative growing season is largely similar in all woody plants. This work can help develop trees capable of coping with future climate change.


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