Researchers from Liège and Antwerp have found that heat threatens local biodiversity in the Belgian countryside. Scientists reported in a Monday press release that exotic plants are moving from the city to the countryside.
Plant species found in Belgian cities differ from those found in the cooler countryside. “Summers like this could allow these species to spread everywhere,” the researchers warn.
Jonas Lembrechts (UAntwerpen) explains that hot air envelopes cities on hot days. Additionally, the soil in cities is often drier than that in rural areas. According to Belga News Agency, the heat causes the water to drain off faster and evaporation to speed up.
Traditionally, warmer environments were restricted to cities, with exotic plants simply not adapted to the climate of the countryside. The conditions conducive to their development are expanding as our summers get drier and hotter and our winters are not as cold as they used to be.
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