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The sharp decline in flower volume caused by the climate crisis forces pollen maters to look for more food.

An artificial heater hanging above the experimental plot raises the local temperature by 1.5 ° C to simulate global warming. Credit: Ellen D Moss

According to the IPCC’s intermediate emission scenario RCP4.5, global average temperatures are projected to rise by 0.9-2.0 ° C around the middle of this century. As a result, many species, especially those with very specific requirements for food, habitat and reproduction, will not be able to adapt.


About 35% of our crops depend on insects for pollination, so we need to study the effects of global warming on the fitness of insects and the wildflowers they depend on. food.. Once you understand the possible changes, Negative impact With the wild Crop plants..

Here, a study by scientists at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom found that the immediate impact of simulated climate change on the successful reproduction of wildflowers. plant And pollen maters.The results are published in Frontier of plant science..

Dr. Ellen D. Moss, lead author of the Faculty of Natural Environment Sciences, Newcastle University, said:A wider range of plants for food, and Seed production While increasing it for others, for some wild flowers. “

Simulate wild global warming

The authors simulated global warming in an outdoor experimental section of the British Agricultural Research Station by using an infrared heater to raise the ambient temperature by a constant 1.5 ° C. Next, from 2014 to 2015, we compared plant and insect biodiversity, and flower insect visit patterns between these and unheated control plots.

Climate change in Northern Europe is also projected to lead to increased rainfall, so they also combined irrigation plots with additional water (which supplies 40% of the region’s monthly rainfall in addition to natural rainfall). I investigated the effect of. Apart from heating.

Over the years, the plot was cultivated and in the spring it was sown with wheat and eight native annual entomophily herbs typical of wheat fields, such as corn marigolds and cornflowers. No pesticides were used. This also allowed local wildflowers to be colonized into plots and flowers.

Throughout the flowering period from June to August, the author counted the number of plant species present in each plot and the number of flowers in each plot. They also weighed various dried and ripe seeds and measured the amount of nectar per flower. Finally, on a regular basis throughout the season, we counted the number of insects that visited each plant species in 20 minutes and collected these insects to let experts identify the species.

The authors observed a total of 25 plant species and 80 insect species in 2014, and 19 plant species and 69 insect species in 2015. The number of plant or insect species is treatment independent and, without excess water, does not result in immediate changes in species diversity. Rather, the immediate impact was more subtle. For example, most plant species were “losers” in terms of reproduction when the plot was heated. Flower growth was low, seed production was low or low.

“Our experiments have shown that at a rise of 1.5 ° C, the number of flower units has decreased by almost 40% throughout the season, which is a significant reduction in the food available to flower visitors. Represents, “the author writes.

The only “winner”

The only “winner” in terms of reproduction under simulated climate change was the common field speedwell of wildflowers, which produced more and heavier seeds in heated plots. However, the flower secretes 65% less nectar in the heated compartment, and this species is less rewarding to pollen maters.

Researchers also observed subtle and immediate changes in the food web.For example, food webs were more complex in heated plots, as insect species tend to visit larger numbers. Plant species, While the number of visits per flower is increasing. This change in insect foraging behavior may have been caused by a decrease in available food. The number of species recorded was unaffected by heating and excess water, but the composition of both plant and insect communities varied significantly between treatments.

“Our results show that climate warming can have serious consequences for some species of wild flowers and their pollen maters in the agricultural system, and their community composition is in the future. It shows that it is likely to change, “Moss said.

Co-author Dr. Darren Evans, a professor of ecology and conservation at Newcastle University, said: community. “

“To better understand how climate warming will affect the direct and indirect behavior of more complete networks in the future. Race Interactions allow us to adapt our agricultural system to a changing world. ”


Sow the seeds of the pollen mater’s habitat that grows in the planted area


For more information:
Experimental climate warming reduces flower resources, changes insect visits and wildflower seeds set in grain agroecosystems. Frontier of plant science (2022). DOI: 10.3389 / fpls.2022.826205 , www.frontiersin.org/articles/1… pls.2022.826205 / full

Quote: When the amount of flowers drops sharply due to the climate crisis, hay fever was obtained from https: //phys.org/news/2022-02-sharp-abundance-climate-crisis- on February 23, 2022. You will be searching for more foods (February 23, 2022). pollinators.html

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The sharp decline in flower volume caused by the climate crisis forces pollen maters to look for more food.

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