August 3, 2012
Environmental Protection - Climate Warming Refuted as Reason for Plant Shifts in High-Profile 2008 Study
Many simple models of plant response to warming climates predict vegetation to find cooler and/or wetter locations, generally moving upslope from their current positions.
However, the mechanisms explaining species-specific responses to changes in temperature and water availability are most likely much more complex, according to researchers at Texas Tech University and the United States Geological Survey. After reexamining an upslope vegetation shift reported in a high-profile 2008 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the pair refuted the findings that plants are moving upslope in California because of climate warming by studying one particular desert shrub.