facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Climate change aids invasive plants

Feb. 9, 2010 at 8:28 AM   |   Comments

| License Photo
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Harvard University scientists say they've determined invasive plants could become more prevalent and destructive as climate change continues.

The scientists, led by Assistant Professor Charles Davis, said they analyzed more than 150 years of data and discovered non-native plants, especially invasive species, appear to thrive during times of climate change because they're better able to adjust the timing of annual activities, such as flowering and fruiting.

"These results demonstrate for the first time that climate change likely plays a direct role in promoting non-native species success," Davis said. "Secondly, they highlight the importance of flowering time as a trait that may facilitate the success of non-native species."

Davis and his colleagues said they analyzed a dataset that began with Henry David Thoreau's cataloging of plants around Walden Pond during the 1850s. Since then, the mean annual temperature in the vicinity of Concord, Mass., has increased by 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit, causing some plants to shift their flowering time by as much as three weeks in response to ever-earlier spring thaws, the scientists said.

"We set out to use this dataset to examine which plants have been the beneficiaries of climate change," Davis says. "Our research suggests quite decisively that non-native and invasive species have been the climate change winners. Climate change will lead to an as-yet unknown shuffling of species, and it appears that invasive species will become more dominant."

The research appears in the online journal PLoS One.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
NASA satellite shows scope of Aral Sea disaster NASA satellite shows scope of Aral Sea disaster
2
600-year-old canoe discovered in New Zealand 600-year-old canoe discovered in New Zealand
3
Apple releases fix for 'Shellshock' virus Apple releases fix for 'Shellshock' virus
4
Social network Ello getting thousands of requests per hour Social network Ello getting thousands of requests per hour
5
Antarctic ice loss responsible for measurable shift in gravity Antarctic ice loss responsible for measurable shift in gravity
Trending News
x
Feedback