Research has found that some flowers are darkening their colors to help protect against higher temperatures caused by climate change. Plants and animals around the world have been adjusting habitats, pollination, reproductive, and other habits to align with the changing climate.

Source: Hololina Hologram/Youtube

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A study in the journal Current Biology found that ultraviolet (UV) pigments in flowers have increased because of rising temperatures and the shrinking ozone layers. Clemson University scientist Matthew Koski was part of the team that traveled to collect specimens and compare changes over time. The group examined species from Europe, Australia, and North America over a range of 70 years.

“We found that some species increased in pigmentation over time, but some showed little change or even declined in pigmentation over time,” said Koski, an assistant professor in Clemson’s College of Science’s Department of Biological Sciences, in a press release. “To understand why species differed in their responses to global change, we looked at the amount of ozone and temperature change experienced by each species over time, which varied quite a bit.”

Species in areas with decreased ozone had higher increases in UV pigmentation. This is a problem for pollinators that rely on colors to find and pollinate flowers, said Koski.

Learn more about climate change affecting animal life, including acidification harming Dungeness crabs,  the mystery of dead birds across Alaska, turtles in Cape Cod Bay, lobsters off the coast of New England and whales in the Gulf of Maine.

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