Climate change brings riotous blooms to SwedenMay 19th, 2008 - 5:22 pm ICT by admin
London, May 19 (IANS) A riot of blooms and superabundance of greenery have transformed Swedish mountainsides into a verdant paradise - thanks to climate change. Trees like oak, elm, maple and black alder are soaking up the warmth to stabilise themselves for the first time in 8,000 years, according to a study.
A rise in warmth by just a degree, over a century, has triggered changes in flora, fauna and landscapes, reflecting a condition that scientists say is similar to one prevailing just after the last ice age, ScienceDaily reported
“Most noticeable, alongside the melting of glaciers, is an elevating of the timberline by 200 metres. Bare alpine areas are shrinking, and typical Nordic mountain birch forests are losing ground to spruce and pine, which are more competitive in a warmer and drier climate,” said Leif Kullman of Umea University, who led the study.
The alpine landscape is becoming generally greener and more inviting. Many mountain plants have produced profuse blossoms as well as prodigious amounts of seeds and fruits in the last few years.
Plants that were previously limited to the borderline between woods and bare mountain are now rapidly climbing alpine slopes.
“The changes are so rapid that plants like fireweed (rose bay) and rowan have even taken root in the gravel up on melting glaciers. Even wood anemones are appearing higher up the mountain,” said Kullman.
The alpine flora and biodiversity are thus burgeoning dramatically. More and more plants are migrating to the high mountains since the warmer climate is conducive to them, including contorta pine and cembra pine, which are not native to Scandinavia.
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