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Botany: Leafing out and climate change
Date:6/20/2014

trong>Beech requires long days

This strategy is the better bet for thermophilic species because they are unable to cope with frost damage and are therefore susceptible to late frosts. "This evolutionary adaptation is particularly striking in the case of beech trees, in which leaf-out occurs relatively late in the year," Renner adds. "The beech in Central Europe is a relic of the warmer temperatures that prevailed during the Tertiary Period; leaf emergence requires 13 hours of daylight, regardless of whether the spring was warm or cool and moist."

"Southern species develop their first leaves up to a month later than plants from our temperate climate," says Renner, "and the more of these thermophilic species expand their range northwards as temperatures rise, the more late flushers we may gain. Moreover, species that are already adapted to our northerly climates are unlikely to undergo leaf-out at ever earlier times, because they require prior exposure to a certain number of chilly days to prime the process.


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Contact: Luise Dirscherl
presse@lmu.de
0049-892-180-3423
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt Mnchen
Source:Eurekalert

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