Scientists have been underestimating the effects of climate change on plant growth, according to a recent study.
Plants are flowering faster than scientists predicted in response to climate change, research in the United States showed on Wednesday, which could have
devastating knock-on effects for food chains and ecosystems.
Global warming is having a significant impact on hundreds of plant and animal species around the world, changing some breeding, migration and feeding patterns, scientists say.
Increased carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels can affect how plants produce oxygen, while higher temperatures and variable rainfall patterns can change their behaviour.
"Predicting species' response to climate change is a major challenge in ecology," said researchers at the University of California San Diego and several other U.S. institutions.
They said plants had been the focus of study because their response to climate change could affect food chains and ecosystem services such as pollination, nutrient cycles and water supply.