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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Panchen, Zoe [1].

Early bloomers in a changing climate: Impact of rising temperatures on the flowering time of Greater Philadelphia native plant species.

There is growing evidence that many plant species are flowering earlier in recent years and that climate change is a contributing factor. Studies have predominantly used field observations as their data source while an increasing number of studies are utilising herbarium specimens. This research combined different data sources in the form of herbarium specimens, field observations and dated photographic images to study plant species' response to rising temperatures. An analysis of 28 Greater Philadelphia species, native to the Pennsylvania and Delaware Piedmont, and 2539 flowering records from 1840 to 2010 indicated that plants are responding to rising minimum monthly temperatures. On average, these species are flowering 1 day per decade earlier over this 170-year period and 2.7 days earlier per 1°C rise in monthly minimum temperature. Monthly minimum temperatures one or two months prior to flowering correlate most significantly with flowering time. Woody plants and short flowering species are better indicators of climate change. Phenological studies across areas of at least 80 km in radius produce significant results. Individuals and institutions holding historic botanical data can play an important role in climate change research.

Broader Impacts:

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Published paper

1 - Carleton University, Department of Biology, Nesbitt Building, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6, Canada

climate change
Flowering time
herbarium records

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 21
Location: Union B/Hyatt
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Time: 9:00 AM
Number: 21005
Abstract ID:399

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