Plant–Metal Interactions in the Context of Climate Change
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-22, 01:29 authored by Denise FernandoDenise Fernando
Expanding fundamental understanding of the complex and far-reaching impacts of anthropogenic climate change is essential for formulating mitigation strategies. There is abundant evidence of ongoing damage and threat to plant health across both natural and cultivated ecosystems, with potentially immeasurable cost to humanity and the health of the planet. Plant–soil systems are multi-faceted, incorporating key variables that are individually and interactively affected by climatic factors such as rainfall, solar radiation, air temperature, atmospheric CO2, and pollution. This synthesis focuses on climate effects on plant–metal interactions and related plant–soil dynamics. Ecosystems native to metalliferous soils incorporate vegetation well adapted to metal oversupply, yet climate-change is known to induce the oversupply of certain immobile soil metals by altering the chemistry of non-metalliferous soils. The latter is implicated in observed stress in some non-metal-adapted forest trees growing on ‘normal’ non-metalliferous soils. Vegetation native to riverine habitats reliant on flooding is increasingly at risk under drying conditions caused by anthropogenic water removal and climate change that ultimately limit plant access to essential trace-metal nutrients from nutrient poor sandy soils. In agricultural plant systems, it is well known that environmental conditions alter soil chemistries and plant responses to drive plant metal toxicity stress. These aspects are addressed with reference to specific scenarios and studies linking climate to plant–metal interactions, with emphasis on land plants.