January 28, 2021

The stress of plants by heat | Society

The stress of plants by heat | Society

The areas most affected by the increase in semi-arid climate in Spain are in Castilla-La Mancha, the Ebro valley and the peninsular southeast, according to the report presented yesterday by the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) and the Ministry for Ecological Transition with the impacts of climate change in 40 years. One of its conclusions points to the climate Semi-arid scale posts and has increased by 6% in Spain in that period.

"Border areas of places that were already very dry are being affected, for example, the Monegros (Ebro valley) where it rains between 300 and 350 mm per year, or on the edges of Murcia, Albacete, Almería", explains Patricio García- Fayos, director of the Desertification Research Center. The process is not because it rains less, but because of the increase in temperature, the researcher adds. "With more heat, the plants demand more water like us when we sweat, for that reason, although the rainfall is the same, the quantity is not enough, we go to the tap and drink, the plants can not and that causes them to become more vulnerable and reduce their presence, "he says.

Another of the gaps through which the semi-arid climate strains are burned areas. "After a fire, the vegetation always recovers, but if it has to face, in addition, to a period of drought of several years as it happened with the two great fires of Valencia of 2012 (affected 21 municipalities and 48,500 hectares) the recovery is much more complex, "he describes.

Sergio Vicente, researcher of the Higher Council for Scientific Research on climate change, argues that there is no evidence that more droughts are occurring in the Ebro valley area. Another issue, he adds, "is that its effect is increased by the demand for water from the atmosphere when the temperature rises ". In his opinion, under unchanged rainfall conditions, vegetation in the most arid areas, in the center of the Ebro valley, is expected to suffer the consequences of the greatest climatic stress.

This will not happen to species that are adapted as the Aleppo pine. "I would not talk about desertification, because if you go to plaster areas that are very poor and covered with rosemary, you see that the vegetation advances," he describes. Because, Vicente continues, "the plants will be thirstier, but if the man is not cutting or burning them, they spread. The consequences will be observed in specific points, by the pressure of the modifications introduced by men, "he says.


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