Mountain plants set to be the next climate victim?

Researchers claim rising temperatures are leading to less snowfall, which certain species rely on to survive

Net Hero Podcast

Climate change is responsible for the decline of several mountain plant species in Scotland.

That’s according to new research by the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI), explaining that many mountain plants rely on snow cover to ensure a moist environment – and with the rises in temperature, snow cover is declining.

More than three million plant records from 2,555 species were collected by the researchers across two decades for the study.

The alpine speedwell, alpine lady-fern and snow pearlwort were among the species found to be in decline.

Meanwhile, non-native species are thriving in the warmer conditions and are spreading to mountain habitats. This is altering the makeup of the region, the report found, which threatens the health of native plants in Scotland.

The BSBI called for careful management of future planting to protect peatland habitats, which are essential for native biodiversity and carbon sequestration.

Researchers warned without changes to management, certain species are at risk of having nowhere left to grow.

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