Numerous plant species on a mountain in the southwestern U.S. are migrating to higher elevations as the climate gets warmer and drier, according to a new study. After comparing the results of a recent University of ArizonaAn alligator juniper on Mount Lemmon survey of 27 plants found on Mount Lemmon, a 9,157-foot peak near Tucson, Ariz., with a similar survey conducted in 1963, researchers at the University of Arizona found that three-quarters of the plants have shifted their range “significantly” upslope in the last five decades. In some cases, researchers found that the plants had moved upward by as much as 1,000 feet, into a much narrower elevation range than where the plants existed in the early 1960s. Writing in the journal Ecology and Evolution, the researchers note that the lowermost boundary for 15 of the species has shifted upslope. “If climate continues to warm, as the climate models predict, the subalpine mixed conifer forests on the tops of the mountains — and the animals dependent upon them — could be pushed right off the top and disappear,” said Richard C. Brusca, a research scientist who led the study.
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Twitter: YaleE360e360 on FacebookDonate to e360View mobile siteShare e360Email newsletterSubscribe to our feed:About e360ContactSubmission GuidelinesReprints South African photojournalist Adam Welz documents the harrowing relocation of six white rhinos to a region that has lost all its rhinos to poaching. View the gallery.OpinionReportsAnalysis InterviewsForumse360 DigestPodcastsVideo ReportsBiodiversityBusiness & InnovationClimateEnergy ForestsOceansPolicy & PoliticsPollution & HealthScience & TechnologySustainabilityUrbanizationWaterAntarctica and the ArcticAfricaAsiaAustraliaCentral & South AmericaEuropeMiddle EastNorth America A Yale Environment 360 video explores Ecuador’s threatened Yasuni Biosphere Reserve with scientists inventorying its stunning forests and wildlife. Watch the video.The latest from Yale
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Top Image: aerial view of Iceland. © Google & TerraMetrics. The Warriors of Qiugang, a Yale Environment 360 video that chronicles the story of a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant, was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).
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