Climate change could leave Yukon plants with nowhere to go: study

The Canadian Press in the Cowichan Valley Citizen
February 25, 2023
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

As climate change pushes some plants northward, a new study suggests several unique species in Yukon and Alaska could have nowhere to go.  The scientific paper, published late last month in the journal Diversity and Distributions, used models to predict how 66 plant species with origins in Beringia, an area where glaciers did not form during the last ice age because of dry conditions, could respond to changes in temperature and precipitation from now until 2040.  It found more than 80 per cent would shift north under immediate warming, moving more than 140 kilometres on average by 2040. More than 60 per cent of species were projected to experience habitat reductions, with some expected to lose nearly all suitable habitat within the next two decades.  …The plant species examined included herbs, shrubs and graminoids, or grass-like plants, that can be found on the tundra, sand dunes, river banks, wetlands and forests in Yukon and Alaska. 

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