Plants can they really move fast?? With firmly fixing to the soil by roots?? How could this be possible??. These would be the questions that arose as soon as you read the heading. So let’s look why plants are running away.
From a peak of a mountain on a rain-forest, when you gazed over the dense rain forest you will see vast undulating green color but the thing is not that. The plants are moving, to higher elevations where the air is cool enough to support their existence. In the present world as the climatic changes are happening so fast most of the species in tropical rain forests are not able to tolerate these changes.
A group of scientists called the Andes Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Group has mapped one of the largest field grids for a wide range of climate change studies. According to the studies done by Ken Feely, Florida International University in Miami and others throughout a decade, they have found out tropical plant species are migrating uphill as they reproduce and they are not moving fast as we would expect.
Tropical Andean tree species are shifting average about 8-12 vertical feet (2.5-3.5 m) a year but for those trees to maintain an equilibrium with their preferred temperatures they need to migrate more than 20 vertical feet a year.
Research models by other biologists shows that more than 50% of tropical species could die off by 2100 or sooner if average temperatures rise by 7 degrees Fahrenheit. If the planet gets warmer even more the extinction of species would reach 90%.
It is far more easy for a scientist to say what is happening by looking at melting ice caps, but the tropical forests are difficult to reach and they are less described. But for the past decade the Andes group is trying to fill that up. The statistical analysis of the data on the growth patterns of trees gathered from the research plots around Peru has led to the tree-migration findings.
A small change in the tropics can have a huge impact on the Earth system. For example, changes in rainfall in the Amazon would change the rainfall in North America and Europe and in central Asia. The impact would be higher with the intensity of what happens in the tropics. Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are absorbed and stored within the biomass of tropical trees, and is a part of the ware cycle. So we can clearly see when the tropical forest cover is reduced or degraded, the amount of greenhouse gases being absorbed and the clouds being produced would be less. Under this circumstance the global warming increases where it would lead to less rainfall, difficulties in cultivations with increasing population etc.
What can be done? It’s mainly implementing policies to reduce harmful emissions and providing incentives needed to protect and preserve those forests instead of degrading them.