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


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).

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Abu-Asab, M.S., Peterson, P.M., Shetler, S.G. et al. Earlier plant flowering in spring as a response to global warming in the Washington, DC, area. Biodiversity and Conservation 10, 597–612 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1016667125469

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