Friday, June 15, 2007
Plant Migration in the Arctic
New genetic tests on species of arctic plants from Svalbard, an archipelago between Norway and the North Pole reveal parents from many different northern zones, even as far away as Russia and Canada. Scientist aren't yet positive how seeds from these places were transported hundreds of miles to rest on this land still 60% covered in ice. Many believe the scenario to be wind across frozen channels over the thousands of years of cooling between the warmer trends.
One thing for certain though, is that these tough alpine plants tolerate warmer climates than previously expected. This is good news, as Svalbard is rapidly losing its ice mass. Scientists expect these plants, like avens, will survive by moving into new melt territory. Efforts to preserve seeds are also being made, as global temperature may eventually reduce their territory to sheer memory.
for the whole article in Scientific American