2012-05-02. Experiments Underestimate Climate Change Impacts to Plants

posted May 3, 2012, 4:16 PM by Alan D. GOULD
 | by Jessica Robertson, USGS Science Features. An article relevant to GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: As the climate has warmed, many plants are starting to grow leaves and bloom flowers earlier. A new study published in the journal, Nature, suggests that most field experiments may underestimate the degree to which the timing of leafing and flowering changes with global warming. Understanding how plants are responding to climate change will help develop more accurate indicators of spring, forecast the onset of allergy season or the chances of western wildfires, manage wildlife and invasive plants, and help inform habitat restoration plans. …the USA-National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) also provided support and assisted with assembling and analyzing historical phenological observations and climate data. ...The USA-NPN brings together citizen scientists, government agencies, non-profit groups, educators and students of all ages to monitor the impacts of climate change on plants and animals in the United States.  … sign up through the USA-NPN website (http://www.usanpn.org/participate/observe), or contact the USA-NPN Executive Director Jake Weltzin at jweltzin@usgs.gov. Read a University of California, San Diego, press release--http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressreleases/study_shows_experiments_underestimate_plant_responses_to_climate_change, as well as a NASA feature--http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/early-bloom.html, on this new article.  Read full article - http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_science_pick/experiments-underestimate-climate-change-impacts-to-plants/.