The drought can rob the Amazon of its famouse rainforest. Large trees die, and the young ones give little hope for the revival of the forests in the distant future. But the scientists have found a positive trend: the young trees adapt to modern conditions and may be more resistant to the drought. Severe and prolonged droughts are becoming more common in this part of the planet.
A research from the University of Exeter suggests that young and small trees adapt better to the drought and can grow into a new generation that helps the rainforests to survive. That conclusion was based on a long-term experiment conducted in Brazil.
The scientists have found that small trees respond in a certain way to the death of larger stands. They get more sun that contributes to their ability to photosynthesize and grow, despite the lack of soil moisture.
A researcher David Bartholomew believes that the changing conditions in the Amazon due to the climate require tough adaptation for trees to survive. The results of the study showed that small trees are able to change their physiology in response to the environmental changes. But the process is not available to the larger neighbors of such trees.
Growing up in drought conditions, small trees have the opportunity to develop special physiological traits that help to cope with the future droughts. As a result, it will create a new generation of forests that will be more sustainable.
The future of the endangered Amazon rainforest may be their own undergrowth. Those trees that now grow in low light conditions represent a reserve stock for preserving forest resources in a unique place of the planet.