There are more than 700 species of wild fig in the tropics, reports Sindya Bhanoo at the New York Times, and most, remarkably, can be pollinated only by a unique species of fig wasp. In turn, the wasps rely on fig plants as hosts for their eggs. Neither species can survive without the other, a relationship known as obligate mutualism. Now a new study from equatorial Singapore, in the journal Biology Letters, finds that the wasps are very vulnerable to climate change — meaning that the wild fig plants are, too. And that is ominous news for many other species, the researchers say. “Figs are a very important food resource in the ecosystem,” said report co-author Nanthinee Jevanandam, a Singaporean biologist. “We have a large range of birds, squirrels, macaques and other primates that feed off figs.” The scientists found that temperature increases of a few degrees, from 80 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit, could cut the adult life spans of pollinating fig wasps to just a few hours, from one or two days.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.
For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte