Scientists: Climate change threatens Rocky Mountain flower
DENVER (AP) — Warmer and drier conditions brought about by climate change could imperil a wildflower once common in the Colorado high country.
Scientists spent 25 years tracking the northern rock jasmine, a wildflower with delicate white petals. The species also is known as fairy candelabra.
Scientists at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory outside Crested Butte, Colorado, concluded that a 3-degree-Fahrenheit (1.2-degree-Celsius) rise in temperature could cause the wildflower to go extinct in that area.
University of Colorado ecologist Anne Marie Panetta tells the Denver Post the wildflower is an indicator for other species.
Panetta says the flower’s decline could point to changes affecting entire ecosystems.
The research is one of the longest-running climate-change experiments in the world. Scientists put infrared heaters in a high-mountain meadow to simulate climate change.
Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com