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Climate change to “supercharge” poison ivy (and poison oak, poison sumac)


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Home Forums General Forums Environmental Issues Climate change to “supercharge” poison ivy (and poison oak, poison sumac)

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    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member

    @rex

    Locale: California

    This Grist article describes how poison ivy responds to climate change:

    https://grist.org/climate/climate-change-is-making-poison-ivy-stronger-and-itchier/

    In brief:
    – More CO2 makes the plants grow much bigger, with more urushiol, the skin-toxic oil
    – Warmer soils make the plants grow much faster
    – Human-disturbed areas, including trails like the AT, are preferred habitat. “It’s not very prevalent in the middle of the forest.” Bigger and more intense wildfires means more poison ivy.

    And before Westerners and others start gloating: poison oak and poison sumac (thunderwood) are closely related to poison ivy. I have no doubt those plants will get supercharged by global weirding, too.

    More fun!

    — Rex

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