Plant communities in Holy Land can cope with climate change of 'biblical' dimensions

An international research team comprised of German, Israeli and American ecologists, including Dr. Claus Holzapfel, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Rutgers University-Newark, has conducted unique long-term experiments in Israel to test predictions of climate change, and has concluded that plant communities in the Holy Land can cope with climate change of "biblical" dimensions. Their findings appear in the current issue of Nature Communications.

When taking into account, many scientists predict dire ecological consequences around the world. The Middle East in particular has been thought to be vulnerable, since east Mediterranean ecosystems not only are hotspots of biodiversity, but also contain many of the wild ancestors of important crop plants and therefore harbor a rich genetic reservoir for them.

In a region with the lowest per-capita water availability, rainfall is predicted to decrease further in the near future, and could spell extreme hardship for the function of these unique ecosystems and possibly endanger the survival of important genetic resources.

For nine years the research team of German, Israeli and American ecologists subjected extremely species-rich to experimental drought designed to correspond to predicted future climate scenarios. For this, the study used four different ecosystems aligned along a steep, natural aridity gradient that ranges from extreme desert (3-4"annual rainfall) to moist Mediterranean woodland (32").

The recently published study demonstrates that in contrast to predicted changes, no measurable changes were seen in the vegetation even after nine years of rainfall manipulations. None of the crucial vegetation characteristics, neither species richness and composition, nor density or biomass - a particularly important trait for these ecosystems traditionally used as rangelands - changed appreciably in the rainfall manipulations.

These conclusions were reached regardless of whether the sites were subjected to more or less rain.

"Based on our study, the going hypothesis that all arid regions will react strongly to climate change needs to be amended," stated Dr. Katja Tielbörger (University of Tübingen in Germany), the lead author of the study.

One of the reasons for the high resilience of the ecosystems studied is likely the high natural variability in rainfall for which the region has been known throughout history. The climate scenarios tested included a decrease of rainfall to about 30% of the current values. That amount of rainfall seems to fall within the natural "comfort zone" of wild-growing plants. Archeological sources (and similar descriptions in the Bible) speak of such dramatic variation in climate over the course of centuries.

The team of scientists implemented a novel experimental approach in which irrigation and rain-out shelters were used not only to compare plots with changed climate within a site with un-manipulated controls, but the placing of sites along the steep aridity gradient also allowed testing the long-standing assumption that with climate change, species will track their climate zone and their ranges will simply shift.

Such shifts, commonly assumed by numerous climate-envelope models, have now for the first time been scientifically tested and have not been confirmed.

"Our experiment is likely the most extensive climate change study ever done, because of the number of sites involved, the long duration of experimental manipulations, and the immense species richness", stated Dr. Claus Holzapfel of Rutgers University-Newark, adding: "These facts add to the robustness of our results."

The study serves to decrease the "doomsday" scenario of climate change for the arid Middle East, despite the fact that the conclusions reached by the research team are only applicable to the specific regions studied. The authors of the study caution that these results should not be used to address global issues of climate change. However, the researchers maintain that their results are important for understanding and countering specific consequences of in the Middle East.


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More information: Katja Tielbörger, Mark. C. Bilton, Johannes Metz, Jaime Kigel, Claus Holzapfel, Edwin Lebrija-Trejos, Irit Konsens, Hadas A. Parag, Marcelo Sternberg: Middle-Eastern plant communities tolerate nine years of drought in a large-scale climate change experiment. Nature Communications Oct. 2014 www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/141 … 2/pdf/ncomms6102.pdf
Journal information: Nature Communications

Provided by Rutgers University
Citation: Plant communities in Holy Land can cope with climate change of 'biblical' dimensions (2014, October 9) retrieved 20 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-10-holy-cope-climate-biblical-dimensions.html
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Oct 09, 2014
Plant communities in Holy Land can cope with climate change of 'biblical' dimensions


And have.

no climate model yet has any explanation for the Viking Warm period or the Little Ice Age. They are simply ignored. The Earth has been several degrees warmer and several degrees colder than it is now in historical times, and all this is documented. The notion that the Gulf Stream affected Greenland, the Western Scottish Islands, the Eastern Scottish Islands, Belgium, Germany, Poland, and China, all reporting longer growing seasons and earlier spring in the Viking era, is too absurd to consider seriously. Not that I expect rationality to prevail. There are too many grants at stake..


Oct 09, 2014
They may have to wait a bit for AGW though..... It's been on pause for 18 or so years now, contrary to what the Great, Grand, Infallible, Stupendously smart and articulate, Get Rich with Carbon Credits, Hypocrite, Profit Al Gore has stated.

Oct 09, 2014
"Further proof that the earth is much more resilient than many climate scientologists would have us believe."

"The authors of the study caution that these results should not be used to address global issues of climate change"

@virkle you need to work on your reading comprehension.


Oct 09, 2014
"the survival of important genetic resources" such violent language.

Oct 09, 2014
Another nail in the AGW Cult's coffin of CO2 lies. Isn't it time for them to leave science to true and honest scientists? In fact in higher CO2 plants use less water.

Oct 10, 2014
"The authors of the study caution that these results should not be used to address global issues of climate change"
"@virkle you need to work on your reading comprehension."

@Vietvet: I believe that you have not correctly interpreted the professors' comment.
They were careful to emphasise that they do not wish to comment on global warming itself.
However, their conclusion regarding plants' ability to adapt holds. Therefore 'virkle' is correct in his / her understanding of the researchers' comment


Oct 10, 2014
@bertibus

Verkle was the one that made the leap from local to global. That is what I was pointing out

Oct 11, 2014
antigoracle proves he is COMPLETELY ignorant with this idiocy
Isn't it time for them to leave science to true and honest scientists? In fact in higher CO2 plants use less water.
Fact antigoracle, plans consume CO2 to produce proteins and sugars which REQUIRE H2.
Where does that H2 come from antigoracle ?
How can increased CO2 absorption by plants NOT increase demand for H2O ?
Did you ever do basic biology in school antigoracle ?
Why are you NOT smarter antigoracle ?
You are frequently showing yourself a complete fool antigoracle - why is that ?
Why antigoracle are you going to so much trouble to prove you have 0 credibility ?

What you have already been told ages ago is, re CO2:-

1. In order to metabolise extra CO2 they Need extra water.
2. Higher CO2 shifts some food plants equilibrium to produce cyanogens (poison).
This is already happening re Casava, a staple food crop in Africa & Clover a food crop for cattle has the same propensity.

Wake up antigoracle learn Science !


Oct 11, 2014
Here you go http://www.plants...emid=329


Linking to a denier blog doesn't cut it.

Link to a peer reviewed study.

Oct 12, 2014

Link to a peer reviewed study.

You can barely read, far less comprehend, so I tried to make it simple for you.

Oct 12, 2014

Link to a peer reviewed study.

You can barely read, far less comprehend, so I tried to make it simple for you.


Your link was devoid of detail, for instance protein loss in important food crops grown in an elevated CO2 environment.

http://www.nature...13254108

Oct 12, 2014
antigoracle shot himself again a feeble/impotent attempt
... http://www.plants...emid=329
Ah !
Lets look in detail but, first bear in mind this irrefutable FACT antigoracle.

"Plant matter; sugar, protein, cellulose, lignin etc are composed of Carbon, N2, O2 AND H2, latter comes from H2O."
To produce plant matter with extra CO2 they MUST consume more H2O - its simple MATH doh ! Products don't change chemical formulae if less H2O, they just stop making it. Link critiques:-

Para 1
Pores close to reduce H2O loss, obvious as need Extra water to accommodate biochem of more CO2. Efficiency metric questionable & unmeasurable at this scale.

P 2
To produce more plant matter with less H2O means more N2 & less H2 means more cyanogens ie CN complexes ie Poison - proven with some food plants.

P 3
You CAN'T have more carbs with less H2O, more osmotic potential proves more H2O is demanded to grow.

P 4
False logic, ignores basic biochemistry !

Oct 12, 2014
cont
The issue of plant growth is potentially far more complex than the relatively simple matter of climate change in terms of fundamentals ie Heat retention.

IOW: Plant biochem is hugely complex re relative equilibria & unfortunately many studies don't show just where any water is differentially consumed when CO2 is raised.

Eg.Carbs have high H2 content, it has to come from somewhere, whereas, in structural issues (the parts we don't eat) the H2 content may be lower. So structurally plants can gain mass but, at the expense of carbs & plant proteins.

So far I haven't seen sufficient studies on these that aren't affected by the climate change denier hysteria, even authoritative journals accept studies for publication where there is insufficient analysis re just which (useful) parts of the plants grow beneficially...

As in climate change re; heat, specific heat, GHG's etc fundamentals are essential. It is definitive our plant foods need H2 in them, it has to come from water.


Oct 12, 2014
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110303111624.htm


@anti
Try reading the entire article next.

"The carbon cycle is important, but so is the water cycle," Dilcher said. "If transpiration decreases, there may be more moisture in the ground at first, but if there's less rainfall that may mean there's less moisture in ground eventually. This is part of the hyrdrogeologic cycle. Land plants are a crucially important part of it."

Oct 13, 2014
antigoracle offered an interesting link for a change
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110303111624.htm
But, antigoracle did you in fact read it ?

Did you notice key points:-

- Density of pores dwindled restricting water release
- Raising CO2 by 100ppm has a profound effect
- Transpiration helps drive the absorption of water
- AND cools plants
- gas exchange will be limited
- altering the hydrological cycle and climate

Do U imagine the rapid rise of CO2 will improve protein & carb production or drive them into different equilibria when studies have proven some food plants increase their production of poisons ie Cyanogens ?

Is this a 'good thing' antigoracle ?

Will it drive Monsanto to produce even more genetically modified foods so humans, without much warning if any, consume altered DNA sequences we have not adapted to ?

Seen the doco "Genetic Roulette - The Gamble of Our Lives", explains the recent rapid rise of gastro problems in USA ?

Oct 13, 2014
Ok so after there hasn't been any global temperature increase for almost two decades the believers in the AGW religion stated emphatically that all the heat is going into the deep oceans..... but Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, analyzed satellite and direct ocean temperature data from 2005 to 2013 and found the ocean abyss below 1.24 miles (1,995 meters) has not warmed measurably.

Ok you believers in the AGW religion, when are you going to ask for your carbon credit alms you paid to Profit Al Gore back? I know, I know, he may now have to give up one or two of his carbon spewing mansions, or give up flying his carbon spewing private jets, and he may have to give up eating endangered animals at the feasts and holidays at exotic resorts he goes to, but he'll be ok.... he can live in only a couple of mansions, he can learn to live with driving only a few monster vehicle and he can still fly first class......

Oct 13, 2014
Ok you believers in the AGW religion
Even someone as simple as freethinking knows at his core religion is silly.

Oct 13, 2014
freethinking blundered obvious & very stupid bad logic with
Ok so after there hasn't been any global temperature increase for almost two decades the believers in the AGW religion stated emphatically that all the heat is going into the deep oceans.
Be careful here or you will be accused of lying. Which peer reviewed publication states "all heat is going into the deep oceans" ?

Did you stuffup by making stuff up again ?

Globe is mostly covered by water, so therefore the atmosphere has strong interactions with the upper oceans, having intellectual trouble recognising that ?

Why do you specifically need to skip upper oceans ie. Where it actually meets the atmosphere, as that is the logical place for bulk of heat transfer to occur ?

Why are you trying to show us so emphatically you intend on missing the large surface area interactions ?

Why the bias against the upper oceans ?

Lack of logic or education or maybe intellect or paid to appear stupid, which ?

TBC


Oct 13, 2014
cont

Anyone interested in facts should try to learn about unusual properties of water, the most immense strangeness is that melting ice absorbs 150x as much heat as ice but, makes NO temperature change & whats more melting ice absorbs 75x as much heat as water as well !

This massive discontinuity absorbs much more heat than ice or water, so therefore ignoring the huge amount of ice melting when integrating heat absorption would have to be negligent & very stupid.

Do deniers like freethinking & antogoricle not understand simple math based on the simple physics of water when it changes from ice to water ?

Anyone who's studied high school physics re heat immediately recognises this is a huge buffer !

freethinking blundered again with
Ok you believers in the AGW religion,
showing your immense ignorance & a un-intelligent attempt to make science appear as a religion which cannot ever be tested. ie Fail.

Fundamentals of science easily testable therefore not religion.

Oct 13, 2014
Ok you believers in the AGW religion, ... live in only a couple of mansions, he can learn to live with driving only a few monster vehicle and he can still fly first class
@freefromthought
you do realise that this entire diatribe only proves your thought process is locked into some conspiracy belief?
http://phys.org/n...firstCmt

Can you please provide (with the same level of empirical evidence as given in the scientific publications) your empirical evidence that there is no AGW, and that the studies and scientific papers are wrong?

Please make sure that the papers you site directly refute all the papers that support AGW, which, if I remember correctly, numbered greater than 9000 from November, 2012 to December, 2013 (which is supported by this article)
http://blogs.scie...sagrees/

Oct 13, 2014
Captain Stumpy aced it
.. support AGW, which, if I remember correctly, numbered greater than 9000 from November, 2012 to December, 2013 (which is supported by this article)
http://blogs.scie...sagrees/
Thats an interesting stat.

I wonder how many didnt do high school/uni physics, which just goes to show deniers are wasting their time trying to approach any sort of hypothesis to counter AGW without getting a sound education in heat. Community college is fine for them, I wish at least one who posts on phys.org could be honest & accept they have trouble with the math or the weird & irrefutable strangeness of the ice to water transition.

I would however like to read the one paper which offers an alternative view as you never know there could be value to show how useful education is, any idea re link ?


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