Woody plants adapted to past climate change more slowly than herbs


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Can we predict which species will be most vulnerable to climate change by studying how they responded in the past? A new study of flowering plants provides a clue. An analysis of more than 5000 plant species reveals that woody plants -- such as trees and shrubs -- adapted to past climate change much more slowly than herbaceous plants did. If the past is any indicator of the future, woody plants may have a harder time than other plants keeping pace with global warming, researchers say.

For full story visit http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-09/nesc-wpa091709.php

CITATION: Smith, S. A. and J. M. Beaulieu. (2009). "Life-history influences rates of climatic niche evolution in flowering plants." Proceedings of the Royal Society B doi: 10.1098/rspb.2009.1176.
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