World plants

The main factors that affect the spreading of a vegetal species are climatic conditions (especially sun exposure, temperature and availability of water) and the characteristics of the soil.
The impact of the other living organisms that inhabit the same ecosystem (herbivores, insects, other vegetal species, etc.) should not be underestimated either.
But an analysis of the factors above is not sufficient to account for all the reasons why a species inhabits a given place and not another, similar one. A species can actually spread in a given place just because of an occasional event: for instance, many Arctic species that grow in the Alps arrived there during the glaciations, when all Europe offered them favourable climatic conditions. As the glaciers withdrew, they disappeared everywhere but on the mountain tops, where they still found favourable living conditions. In other cases, the chance factor is man, who, through migrations and trade, has promoted the spreading of numerous species away from their places of origin.

Special reports

From the Multimedia section

  • ecosystems

    Beech forest

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    ecosystems

    Deforestation

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    ecosystems

    Deforestation 2

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  • ecosystems

    Deforestation in the Amazon

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    ecosystems

    Forest

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    ecosystems

    Medicines from the forest

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  • life

    Interview with Maurizio Casiraghi

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    ecosystems

    Fred Pierce on agriculture and its impacts

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    life

    Photosynthesis in action

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  • ecosystems

    Beech forest

    Look

    ecosystems

    Deforestation

    Look
  • ecosystems

    Deforestation 2

    Look

    ecosystems

    Deforestation in the Amazon

    Look
  • ecosystems

    Forest

    Look

    ecosystems

    Medicines from the forest

    Look
  • ecosystems

    Beech forest

    Look
  • ecosystems

    Deforestation

    Look
  • ecosystems

    Deforestation 2

    Look

Facts

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    A heavenly garden

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    23 February 2012

    CO2 “eating” trees

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  • 16 May 2011

    Energy from palm trees

    Oils that are obtained from palm trees can be used as alternatives to fossil fuels and their use is about…

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  • 3 April 2012

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    13 May 2011

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  • 16 May 2011

    A heavenly garden

    In Cornwall huge sphere greenhouses were built...

  • 23 February 2012

    CO2 “eating” trees

    If a tree “eats” CO2 and produces oxygen it is easy to understand the importance it has in reducing the…

  • 16 May 2011

    Energy from palm trees

    Oils that are obtained from palm trees can be used as alternatives to fossil fuels and their use is about…