The only flowering plants in Antarctica are growing faster, probably due to the higher temperatures.

Locations of expanded D. antarctica and C. quitensis on Signy Island since 1960 1960 (yellow dots) (A and D), 2009 (B and E), 2018 (CF) (green and magenta) (Points) Indicates the occurrence (magenta point) or absence (green point) of marine vertebrate disturbances in 2009 and 2018 related to the pattern of Pleistocene deicing and glacial boundaries. Legend: Dark Blue, Glacier Boundary As recorded in 2016. The boundary of the blue glacier during the Little Ice Age. Light blue, terrain that has been degreased between 6600 BC and the Little Ice Age. White, terrain that has been degreased 6600 years ago. Credit: DOI: 10.1016 / j.cub.2022.01.074

A team of researchers from Italy, the United Kingdom and South Africa have discovered that in the last decade, only two flowering plants in Antarctica have grown more rapidly.In their paper published in the journal Current biologyResearchers suggest that the changes taking place in Antarctic plants are likely due to climate change-related rises in temperature.

Previous studies have shown increased plant growth in some species in the Northern Hemisphere. Warm temperature Over the last few years. However, to date, there have been no recorded changes in plant growth in the southern Antarctic waters.In this new initiative, two researchers flowering plant, Colobanthus quitensis (blooming yellow flowers) and Deshampsia antarctica (grass) are harder than in recent years. To find out if that was the case, they took pictures of multiple samples at multiple locations on Signy Island from 2009 to 2019. Next, I searched the literature to compare recent plant growth with growth in the last half century.

Researchers have found that plant sites have grown more densely in the last decade. this is, plant Not only did it grow, it was growing abundantly. They also found that plants grow faster as the ambient temperature rises. More specifically, they found that plant density grew in the last 10 years as much as in the last 50 years. Researchers suggest that such changes in plant growth may very well represent the gradual changes in the Antarctic climate.

Researchers acknowledge that other factors can play a role in the increase Plant growth, Declining seal populations, etc., suggesting that such factors are unlikely to be as pronounced as global warming. They further suggest that changes are occurring throughout the Antarctic region as temperatures rise. They say no one knows for sure what the warmer Antarctica will look like, but most assume it will make a big difference in both plant and animal populations. doing.

“Greening” in Antarctica due to climate change

For more information:
Nicoletta Cannone et al, Accelerating Climate Warming and Plant Dynamics in the Antarctic, Current biology (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.cub.2022.01.074

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The only flowering plants in Antarctica are growing faster, probably due to the higher temperatures.

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