• Gabbai

Re’eh – Be a Blessing

When flying at a low altitude over a mountainous region it is easy to identify the tree line. At a certain altitude the trees stop suddenly. They don’t thin out, they simply stop. The ideal climate for these pine trees is present at a specific altitude and not above that altitude.

While tree lines can be very visible from above, many other species of plants and fauna have distinct climates in which they thrive. Botanists and biologists have conducted numerous studies in recent years to research the effects rising temperatures have had on plant growth in the wild. While different plant species react differently, in the main it was discovered that plants have adjusted their growth areas. Some plants have migrated to lower grounds, while most plants have been steadily climbing to higher altitudes. The average growth of many plants has shifted 10 to 50 feet higher, as the plants seek cooler air.

While the higher altitude brings cooler air, it often comes at the expense of being more distant from water sources. Some plants have moved lower, closer to water sources, despite the warmer temperature. The higher mercury generates need of more water, which is more plentiful at lower altitudes. On the flip side, cooler temperatures of higher altitudes lower the plant’s need of water, so it boils down to a choice of pros and cons, and each species needs to reach the right balance which is best for its survival.

We have long known that animals learn to adapt to a changing environment. When their habitats cease to provide the shelter and food necessary for their survival, animals migrate to other habitats that can better support their needs. We have even seen evidence of certain species evolving over time to survive better in a new environment. It is surprising, however, to discover that plants also “learn” to adapt and find new places which better suit their needs for growth and vitality.

Different from plants and animals are humans. When our environments no l