Climate change is happening faster than many species can adapt to − and climate is changing between 3,000 and 20,000 times faster than many grassland species can respond.
Since the grass family includes wheat, corn, rice, sorghum, oats, rye, barley and many other plants that underwrite human survival, this is serious news.
Although the new research by scientists in the US does not directly address the future of food in a globally warming world, the researchers say their finding has “troubling” implications.
They report in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters that they concentrated their research on the family Poaceae, otherwise known as the grasses.
Creatures subjected to climatic change face only three outcomes: they can relocate uphill or nearer the poles as the temperatures rise; they can evolve to meet the new conditions; or they can go extinct.