Due to the freezing temperature in Antarctica, plant increase and growth are nearly impossible because only a few plants survive in such unpleasant conditions. But recent studies have revealed the rapid growth of the two flowering plants in Antarctica.
(Photo : JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
Growth of Antarctica’s Flowering Plants Due to Warmer Temperatures
Antarctica is an unhabitual, freezing landmass and is considered the coldest, windiest, and driest of Earth’s continents, it is the only continent on earth with no permanent human habitation.
Over the past two decades, there are only two flowering plants that have been able to survive and grow in the harsh condition of Antarctica and researchers from Italy, the U.K., and South Africa have discovered that the two plants have been growing very fast, as per Phys.org.
The researchers had suggested in the journal Current Biology that these changes might be closely related to the changes in temperature within the region. According to the study, the temperature seems to be warmer due to climate change.
Before these recent changes, there had been a similar occurrence in the Northern Hemisphere, where the growth of different plant species increased due to warm temperatures over several years.
Still, unlike northern hemisphere improvement, southern Antarctica hasn’t experienced any changes in different plant species growth but has experienced an improvement in the flowering plants’ current growth within the region.
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Confirming the Plants’ Rapid Growth
The Colobanthus quitensis – produces yellow flowers – and Deschampsia Antarctica (a grass) are the flowering plants that have been healthy in the region.
The colobanthus quitensis, also known as the antarctic pearlwort are found on the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, South Shetland, the Falklands, as well as the Andes. Deschampsia Antarctica, also known as Antarctica hair grass, is also mostly found in the western Antarctic Peninsula Orkney Islands and also the South Shetland Islands.
During the investigation, researchers found out there was a decrease in the growth of these plants over the years from 2009 to 2019, pictures of multiple samples were taken at different sites on signy island.
From the reports during the investigation, they were said to have grown denser during the past 10 years but when the air temperature around them increases, they grew rapidly, and their density also increases. From reports on this research, the density of these plants observed was the highest for over 50 years, accordimg to Gizmodo.
Other Factors That Contributed to the Increased Plant Growth
Researchers acknowledge these changes as huge phenomenon that might represent a step towards a huge change in the freezing temperature of antarctica.
They also acknowledge that the changes in the tempreature might not be the only significant cause of this increase in plant growth, there might be other causes like decline in seal populations. These changes has been further observed in different regions in the antarctica.
Researchers are investigating further on the temperature changes in the Antarctica and whether it would positively or negatively affect the population of animals and plants in the region.
Related Article: Antarctica’s Plant, Animal Life Threatened by Increasing Ice-Free Areas
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