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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Climate change from a plant’s eye view

Climate change from a plant’s eye view

According to the calendar and the corresponding position of the earth in relation to the sun, it is now officially spring. But spring arrived weeks ago, according to many flowers, when warm temperatures typically associated with mid to late April arrived in early March. In fact, “spring” as defined by bloom time, is actually arriving as much as month earlier now than it was100 years ago. Indeed, in a paper published by the American Journal of Botany, scientists, looking at preserved plant specimens, have determined that many rare species of flowers are responding to warming temperatures and changing seasonal rainfall patterns by blooming two to four weeks earlier then they did historically. This was the first study to focus specifically on imperiled flowers. Previous research in Boston and the Mid-West had also found patterns of earlier bloom time in many species, but, typically found shifts of only one to two weeks.

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