Low Biodiversity Brings Earlier Bloom
By Christopher Intagliata on March 15, 2017


As climate change dials up([US]增加) global temperatures, one effect is an earlier flower bloom(開花). But it turns out there‘s another factor that also means faster flowering(開花): a loss in biodiversity(生物多樣性) in a flower field(花田).

“The amount of change in flowering time(花季) that we see with diversity loss is in the same magnitude(= large size, importance) range as the amount of change in flowering time we see with rising temperatures, globally.” Amy Wolf, an ecologist at Columbia University and U.C. Davis(加州大學戴維斯分校). 

Wolf and her colleagues studied that effect in a grassland(草原) in northern California, in study plots(研究用小塊土地) with two to 16 species of plants. And they found that, for every two species lost, the remaining flowers blossomed a day earlier, on average. Possibly because the less diverse plots(物種較少的土地) had higher soil temperatures, more moisture, and more nitrogen(氮) - all variables(變數) that could tweak bloom time. The study is in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The reason it matters(要緊嗎)? Because flowers might bloom earlier than pollinators are expecting(預期) them. “And that could lead to a whole cascade of things(一連串的事件). If plants don‘t get pollinated (授粉['pɑlənet]), or they don't get pollinated well, then you can start to lose species at an even more rapid rate.“
Wolf says it‘s too soon to know whether biodiversity loss and climate change will have synergistic effects(合成效應) on flower timing(開花時間點). But combine climate change, species loss, and unpredictable ecological effects like this - and you've got a pretty ugly arrangement.



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