Possible Effects of Global Warming on Three Native North American Prairie Species
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As of 2012 the average land and surface temperature has increased 0.85°C since 1880. By the end of the 21st century, the increase is estimated to exceed 3°C or more. Currently, climate change is irreversible and slowing down the rate of increase remains a challenge. It is important that research focus on how ecosystems and the organisms within them will respond to a warmer climate in preparation of the future. Prairie systems account for 15% of North America and cover a broad range of latitudes providing an important and unique habitat for wildlife. Previous research has shown that temperature can significantly alter phenology, growth, and community interactions within plants. Essential microbial communities have also been shown to influence plant development and growth as well. This research attempts to understand how different combinations of plant and microbial populations would respond under warmer temperatures.