Expanded north-south habitants of plants and ranges of animals is going to be one of the features of a shift to a warmer world.
Habitats are expected to shift further north as the planet warms, and plants' inability to move quickly enough has been a cause for concern.
But researchers, writing in the journal Science, suggest seeds can be carried vast distances by the wind and sea ice.
The biggest challenge, they added, was likely to be their ability to establish themselves in the new habitat.
Researchers from Norway and France analysed more than 4,000 samples of nine flowering plant species found on the remote Svalbard islands inside the Arctic Circle.
By analysing the genetic fingerprints of the plants, the team reconstructed past plant colonization and decline in the area.