Science News Desk – When we talk about climate change and the resulting global warming, we only talk about the situation for a century or two. That is, if the world is warming, it is warming more than it has been in two centuries. Nevertheless, from the point of view of Earth’s climate history, deserts are new biomes that evolved only in the last 30 million years. Many of the vast arid regions of North America developed only in the last 5 million or 7 million years. Many species of plants have infiltrated here and are maintaining themselves by establishing themselves in such an environment. In such a situation, their study can be helpful in predicting the future and arid ecosystem.
Plants that invaded the desert millions of years ago, such as the rock daisy, have already adapted to tolerate heat and water pressure, according to a new study led by the University of California, Berkeley. These plants were also able to adapt while living near rocks with less water or in tropical forests, which made it easier for them to spread across the desert.
Izak Lichter-Mark, evolutionary ecologist, biographer, and plant taxonomist at UC Berkeley and lead author of this study, says that if you think dryness or aridity may have been a factor in plant evolution, then many can also say Whether these plants are survivors or adaptors, and whether they are good. They can also take advantage of the new situation and then work to flourish.
But the history of the rock daisy shows that when deserts recover, the plants have an essential pre-adaptive ability to take advantage of the new conditions under which they previously thrived. And adding more aridity to an ecosystem doesn’t necessarily mean more adaptations will emerge or evolve in plants.
There is a limited source of lineages that can take advantage of new levels of aridity and this is very important for understanding the impact of climate change on biodiversity. Researchers collected and analyzed hundreds of specimens of rock daisies from the deserts of Arizona, California, Texas and Mexico in North America, as well as comparing them to fossil daisies, to build a timeline of the plants’ characteristics as they evolved. Expansion was done by infiltrating the desert.
This investigation revealed that many rock daisies, which had previously arrived in the desert. They had already adapted themselves to the pressure of sun, dryness, wind and heat by growing on the tops of mountains. This reflects Axelrod’s hypothesis that such plants thrived in dry microclimatic environments before spreading to deserts.