Withered by Warmth

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Global warming reduces growth in eucalyptus in warm regions

GLOBAL WARMING can negatively affect the growth of the eucalyptus tree. Researchers at the University of Western Sydney in Australia conducted a climate shift experiment on two eucalyptus species-Eucalyptus tereticornis and E grandis-using 21 varieties of seeds. All seeds were grown in climate-controlled glasshouses,some replicating summer conditions occurring in the seeds' area of origin and some with an additional warming temperature of 3.5ÊC. While the cool-origin eucalypts showed an increase in photosynthetic activity, those originating in warm areas responded to increased temperatures with a reduction in photosynthetic capacity and total leaf area, leading to a reduced growth of 10 per cent.


Down To Earth, December 2014