"We should absolutely address the climate issue with the utmost seriousness, but, when it comes to biodiversity, there are many other threats that are at least as important to consider," says Johan Ehrlén, professor at the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences of Stockholm University.
A recent study published in the scientific journal PNAS has looked at many different types plants; trees, shrubs, herbs and grasses from all over the world. The aim was to explore which environmental factors has the largest effects on the number of plants and how these plants are distributed in the landscape. The scientists looked among other things at effects from climate, pollinators, plant feeders, competition and natural disturbances, such as hurricanes, flooding and fires.
"We found that fires are more important for the survival of plant populations than the direct effect of the climate change. The fact that there are more fires is partly an indirect effect of climate, however. We need to start looking at the indirect effects of climate," says Johan Ehrlén.