Huang Jian-Guo of the South China Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and his colleagues.
Global warming seriously affects both the state of the climate and plants. One such example is the abnormally fast onset of spring. As a result, birds return from the south to the circumpolar regions several weeks earlier. Therefore, the balance between predators and their rodent prey has shifted.
Scientists also found another negative effect of early spring – in the course of their work, they studied how, from the middle of the 20th century to the present, global warming has changed the flowering process, as well as the timing of the appearance of the first leaves in several tree species – ash, alder, and horse chestnut.
It is noted that usually, all these trees bloom at different times. However, the increase in average annual temperatures affected their bloom. Therefore, ash and alder began to bloom several days earlier than in the middle of the 20th century. However, this almost did not affect the time of appearance of their leaves, and vice versa – the leaves of the horse chestnut began to appear much earlier, and the flowering time almost did not change.
It turned out that the period of time between flowering and appearance of leaves increased by about 0.6-1.3 days every 10 years. Because of this, the plants have become more vulnerable to frost.
This feature negatively affects the reproduction of trees, as well as the biomass set. Scientists continue to monitor trees to understand how critical these changes are.