Article

Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 597-612

Earlier plant flowering in spring as a response to global warming in the Washington, DC, area

  • Mones S. Abu-AsabAffiliated withSection of Ultrastructural Pathology, Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute
  • , Paul M. PetersonAffiliated withDepartment of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
  • , Stanwyn G. ShetlerAffiliated withDepartment of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
  • , Sylvia S. OrliAffiliated withDepartment of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

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Abstract

Evidence for global warming is inferred from spring advances in first-flowering in plants. The trend of average first-flowering times per year for the study group shows a significant advance of 2.4 days over a 30-year period. When 11 species that exhibit later first-flowering times are excluded from the data set, the remaining 89 show a significant advance of 4.5 days. Significant trends for earlier-flowering species range from -3.2 to -46 days, while those for later-flowering species range from +3.1 to +10.4 days. Advances of first-flowering in these 89 species are directly correlated with local increase in minimum temperature (T min).

first-flowering global warming minimum temperature spring-flowering Washington DC