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Thread: Early flowering of native US plants

  1. #1 Early flowering of native US plants 
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    Any botany or insect observers here who've noticed similar things to this?

    Climate Change Causes the Earliest Spring Flowering in 161 Years | Surprising Science

    The writer seemed not to think about the role of flowers in the larger ecosystem. If this were happening to a flowering plant that is a food source for a bird or insect species that emerges or migrates based on daylight hours length rather than temperature, then these flowers won't be available as a food source when they're most needed. Not all beer and skittles for them. And these changes are a bit quick for adaptation by a few outliers - who move to the food source earlier than the historical average - to take over as the dominant strategy for the species as a whole.


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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Last spring I found Pussy Willows with fat buds on January 22nd while out riding my horse. As it is traditional for me to bring home the first sign of spring, I grabbed a branch and after a few days in water indoors, they were in full form.



    Last autumn we had an early cold snap followed by several weeks of balmy weather. Several Balsam Poplars in the yard were pushing leaf buds that looked set to open just prior to winter arriving. It will be very interesting to see how they come out of this winter which has had roller coaster temperatures throughout.


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    Should have commented but didnt' because I've been aware of the project for several years now.

    There's a treasuretrove of similar past manually kept records on a wide range of earth sciences--from detailed nature recordings for the OP, to more fragmented records such as kept by Thomas Jefferson at his estate, and tens of thousands of ship logs in the age of sail. Putting it into useable form for analysis and comparison to modern records is a mountain of work, but like in this case, work worth doing.
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    Yep. I feel guilty now because I've not been keeping up with my little efforts on Pacific island weather records. Digitising all the old records around the world is a massive project, but if everyone vaguely interested just put in an hour or two every now and again the work would move along a bit faster.

    I once had a look at those ships' logs and decided I'd be better off saving myself from eyestrain headaches peering at the near indecipherable images trying to pick out the info and stick to those which are, by and large, reasonably easy to read. The German radiosonde data from earlier last century is also written in tiny script a lot of the time, so I don't do those either.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Phenology (Wikipedia)

    Phenology (National Phenology Network)

    Lilac Phenology (NASA)

    For centuries, European and American farmers knew lilac blossoms as an accurate predictor of the last frost of spring, and thus, the earliest date for planting crops. Farmers planted lilacs near their farmhouses and kept an eye on them for predictions, as today we might watch the Weather Channel. A logic was employed, such as, a particular numbers of weeks after the first lilac blossoms, farmers could safely plant a particular crop, etc. Global warming has resulted in earlier lilac blossoms.
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