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Climate change affecting Scotland's plants, agency says

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2012

A public body charged with preserving Scotland's genetic and scenic diversity says climate change is affecting the nation's wild plant life.

The agency, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), said the intersection of warmer, drier conditions and the arrival of invasive species is leading to a decline of native vegetation in the northwest Highlands.

Its conclusions are based on biological records dating back half a century.

That has put some of the world's most pristine upland habitats in danger, said professor Des Thompson, principal adviser on biodiversity for SNH.

"When you go to continental Europe, there is very clear evidence of climate change, with the tree line moving up mountains in response to temperature changes," he said.

"In Britain to date, we have had very little evidence. This is quite literally one of the first signs of climate influences on vegetation."

He called the Highlands a "stronghold" for heather moorland habitat (BBC News, June 19). -- NM


Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500


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Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500.

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