Ongoing global warming is expected to shift the geographic distribution of plants as species expand into newly favorable areas and decline in increasingly hostile locations. University of California scientists sponsored by the DOE Program for Ecosystem Research compared surveys of plant locations made in 1977 and 2006-2007 along a 2,314-meter elevational gradient in Southern California's Santa Rosa Mountains. During the 30 years between the surveys the local climate warmed, precipitation variability increased, and the amount of snow decreased. As reported recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science the scientists found that the average elevation of the dominant plant species rose in elevation by about 65 meters during the 30 years between the two surveys. That upslope change in plant distribution could not be attributed to changes in air pollution or fire frequency and appears to be a consequence of changes in regional climate.
Kelly, A.E. and M.L. Goulden. 2008. Rapid shifts in plant distribution with recent climate change. PNAS 105:11823-11826.
Contact: Jeffrey S. Amthor, SC-23.1, (301) 903-2507
SC-33.1 Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER
Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]
Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]
Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]
Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.
Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco
List all highlights (possible long download time)