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News – Mountain plants face extinction

September 2007

Mountain plants face extinction

Scientists believe that climate change and increasing average temperatures are causing wild mountain flowers to move to higher altitudes. A long-term study of plants in the Italian Alps suggests that some have climbed 1400ft in the last 48 years, in response to a 1.5 degC rise in temperature.

All 52 separate plant species studied were found to have migrated upwards – by an average of 80ft per decade. Specialist scientists from the European Native Seed Conservation Network fear that 800 European plant species face extinction – with mountain flowers most at risk as they climb in search of cooler temperatures. Plants involved include the edelweiss, Alpine clover and yellow coltsfoot.