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New study shows plants struggle to keep pace with climate change in human-dominated landscapes


Spatial patterns of four climate-phenology metrics. (a) Velocity of mean annual temperature change, vMAT (km yr−1). (b) Velocity of growing season length change, vGSL (km yr−1). (c) Difference in direction, θGSL,MAT (°). (d) Pace of phenology change relative to climate, δGSL,MAT (km yr−1). Color bars show the magnitude of each metric, with cutpoints chosen to divide the data into quantiles. For (a) and (b), the cutpoints were chosen based on pooled vMAT and vGSL, so that they are directly comparable. Arrows show the direction of the velocities of change in selected pixels. Inset figures depict how metrics were calculated (see more details in Figure 1). Panels on the right show the median and 95% intervals of climate-phenology metrics calculated using growing season length (GSL), start of season (SOS), end of season (EOS) as proxies for phenology, and using mean annual temperature (MAT), mean spring temperature (MST) and using mean fall temperature (MFT) as proxies for climate, respectively. Credit: DOI: 10.1029/2021AV000431 Researchers at UC Santa Cruz are contributing new insights into the challenges plants face in adapting to climate change. Prior research has long anticipated that plants might be able to respond to increasing temperatures by changing their phenology—or the […]

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