East Anglia, Kent and Sussex - Plant research flowers

September 30, 2010

Millions of plants picked by Victorian collectors up to 150 years ago and held in herbarium collections across the world could become a new source of data for studying climate change, according to research. The scarcity of reliable long-term data on phenology - the study of natural climate-driven events - has hindered scientists' understanding of how species respond to climate change. But research by a team of ecologists from the University of East Anglia, the University of Kent, the University of Sussex and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, shows that plants pressed up to 150 years ago experienced warmer springs resulting in earlier flowering, similar to field-based observations of flowering made much more recently.

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