Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .




WOOD PILE
Can cloud forests survive climate change?
by Brooks Hays
Cairns, Australia (UPI) Aug 7, 2015


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

A new study in Australia suggests plants unique to cloud forests are unlikely to survive the changes in high-altitude temperature and weather patterns brought on by climate change.

Cloud forests are unique ecosystems typically found on the saddles of mountains in tropical regions; their position near the clouds allows plants there to strip moisture otherwise unavailable to habitats at lower elevations. Cloud forests are characterized by their mossy environs, shorter trees and peat-rich soils.

To better understand how climate change might alter these niche forests, researchers at James Cook University surveyed 19 plant species (trees and shrubs) endemic to Australia's cloud forests. Scientists then used three climate models -- ranging from conservative to extreme in their outlook -- to predict how the species will be affected by changing conditions.

The models suggest by 2040, anywhere from 17 to 100 percent of cloud forest habitat will be gone. Under the most conservative estimates, half of all cloud forest plants would be without suitable habitat by 2080.

"Our study indicates that the current climate on Queensland's mountaintops will virtually disappear," researcher Craig Costion said in a press release. "What we don't know is if these plants can adapt."

Costion is the lead author of a new paper on the predictions, published in the journal Biological Conservation.

"The 19 species represent most of the plants that are restricted to that habitat. It's highly likely they are found only there because of the climate," Costion explained. "There are plenty of other similar soil and substrate environments at lower elevations where they could grow but the climate is unsuitable."

Though cloud forests don't typically offer the same levels of biodiversity as tropical forests lower down in the valleys, they provide growing conditions and shelter for plants and animals found nowhere else.

In addition to trees and shrubs, cloud forests around the world host species of lichens, ferns, bromeliads and orchids not found in other ecosystems. Cloud forests also provide habitat to a number of endemic animals. In Peru, the unique conditions of cloud forests offer shelter and sustenance to more than a third of the nation's 270 endemic birds, mammals and frogs. The cloud forests of Central Africa are the only home to the mountain gorilla.

"The tropics contain most of the world's biodiversity, and tropical mountains are particularly rich in unique and rare species," said study co-author Darren Crayn. "Managing for global threats such as climate change requires much better information -- a redoubling of research efforts on these poorly understood landscapes would pay great dividends."

If the predictions of Crayn and Costion's models are accurate, only carefully controlled greenhouses will be able to host the species of today's cloud forests.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Forestry News - Global and Local News, Science and Application






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WOOD PILE
Agrarian settlements drive severe tropical deforestation across the Amazon
Norwich, UK (SPX) Aug 04, 2015
Resettlement projects in the Amazon are driving severe tropical deforestation - according to new research from the University of East Anglia and Camara dos Deputados (the Brazilian Lower House). Widely hailed as a socially responsible and 'innocuous' strategy of land redistribution, agrarian reform settlements have been created throughout the Brazilian Amazon since the early 1970s at an unpreced ... read more


WOOD PILE
Myanmar asks for international aid as flood misery spreads

Chinese consortium to salvage S. Korea ferry

Philippines vows action on Haiyan rebuilding after UN criticism

Trillions of dollars needed for UN anti-poverty plan

WOOD PILE
Photoaging could reverse negative impact of ultraviolet radiation

New device converts DC electric field to terahertz radiation

A droplet's pancake bounce

Cooking up altered states

WOOD PILE
Greenhouse gases' millennia-long ocean legacy

Fiji military boss says sudden resignation no sign of instability

Ocean changes are affecting salmon biodiversity and survival

Veolia says net profits more than double to 321 million euros

WOOD PILE
Russia files UN claim over vast swathe of Arctic

Study calculates the speed of ice formation

Glaciers melt faster than ever

Tracking the retreat of Arctic ice

WOOD PILE
Colombia to buy land for poor in post-war period

Great Plains agricultural greenhouse gas emissions could be eliminated

Romanian farm losses at 2bn euros from drought: associations

How bees naturally vaccinate their babies

WOOD PILE
Hurricane season expected to be weaker than normal

Protesters leave as Taiwan readies for year's biggest typhoon

At least 180 dead, a million displaced in India floods

Hundreds dead, millions displaced as monsoon rains heap misery on Asia

WOOD PILE
Ex-minister named head of Mali reconciliation committee: government

US envoy says 'patience has run out' over South Sudan

Burkina Faso on a tightrope ahead of key polls

Nigerian army frees dozens of women, children from Boko Haram

WOOD PILE
Body size increase did not play a role in the origins of Homo genus

Take a trip through the brain

An all-natural sunscreen derived from algae

It don't mean a thing if the brain ain't got that swing




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.