The vegetation cover of the Earth can be adapted to a possible cold nearly seven times better than the rapid warming that is now threatening the biosphere. To such conclusions scientists have come, having studied the data on thermotolerant more than 1000 plant species of different latitudes. According to the results of the most ambitious such study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the greatest danger threatens the vegetation of the temperate latitudes.
The climate of the planet is gradually warming, in connection with the question of the limits of thermal stability of living organisms is becoming increasingly important. Scientists seek to develop more accurate predictions of responses of individual species, entire ecosystems, and biomes to the new temperature conditions, so that people had the ability to predict and mitigate the effects of heat stress in the future. In recent years, has also revived interest in the so-called microphysiology: conducted a series of studiesthat determined the thermal limits of the largest taxonomic groups of animals. Works covered by such laws for plants is wider than within a single species, it was very little.
Scientists led by Leslie Lancaster (Lesley T. Lancaster) of the University of Aberdeen conducted a meta-analysis of research in the field of thermotolerant plants. For this purpose they collected data of more than 70 monographs and articles, which contained information about temperature responses of 1028 plant species in 249 locations at different latitudes of the globe. Most of the data belonged to the Northern hemisphere; mosses, lichens and ferns of the southern hemisphere to include work — study their temperature ranges are virtually absent.