Note and Comment

Ecological Research

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 255-259

First online:

Does seed production of spring ephemerals decrease when spring comes early?

  • Gaku KUDOAffiliated withGraduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University Email author 
  • , Yoko NISHIKAWAAffiliated withHokkaido Institute of Environmental Science
  • , Tetsuya KASAGIAffiliated withGraduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University
  • , Shoji KOSUGEAffiliated withGraduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University

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To predict the effect of global warming on plant reproductive success, seed-sets of spring ephemerals were compared between a year of extremely warm spring (2002) and normal years at cool-temperate deciduous forests in northern Japan. The spring of 2002 was the warmest in the last 40 years and most spring-ephemeral plants bloomed 7–17 days earlier than usual. The seed-set of bumblebee-pollinated Corydalis ambigua drastically decreased in 2002 in every population. The small bee-pollinated Gagea lutea also significantly decreased in 2002. However, the seed-sets of two fly pollinated species, Adonis ramosa and Anemone flaccida, were not influenced by early flowering. These results indicat that the effect of global warming on seed production of spring ephemerals differs between species depending on the type of pollinators, and that bee-pollinated species can have serious impacts on reproductive success as a result of climate change.

Key words

flowering phenology global warming pollination seed set spring ephemerals