Tropical Plant Research

Tropical Plant Research

An International Journal by Society for Tropical Plant Research

ISSN (E): 2349-1183 ISSN (P): 2349-9265
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2020, VOLUME 7 ISSUE 1Pages: 196-204

Climate change impacts on the distribution and phenology of plants: A review

Mesfin Woldearegay
Department of Biology, Debre Birhan University, P. O. Box 445, Debre Birhan, Ethiopia
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Abstract:
This paper reviews about the impacts of climate change on plant distribution and phenology. The existence of climate change is confirmed by various evidences from different sources that can be used to reconstruct past climates. Some of these facts are obtained from temperature measurements, glaciers retreat, arctic sea ice decline, sea level rise and variability of precipitation in different parts of the world. Empirical evidences have also indicated that climate change affects life on earth in many ways. On plants, some of the most important climate change impacts include, the change in phenological characteristics like flowering time, species distributions and richness as well as the composition of assemblages. Plant species have responded to climate change by range shifting and increasing species richness on alpine summits, as well as by altering the time of leafing, flowering and fruiting. Evolutionary adaptation could be an important way for natural populations to counterbalance rapid climate change. Adaptive changes are likely to influence the ability of species to take advantage of potentially favorable conditions arising from climate change. Plant species can also adjust to new conditions through phenotypic plasticity.
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