Georgia Journal of Science


Plant phenology, especially the onset of flowering in angiosperms, is a useful tool for studying the effects of climate change on native flora because it is influenced by temperatures. Numerous studies in different biomes have provided evidence of earlier bloom times in response to increasing temperatures. We examined herbarium specimen data to determine whether three spring-blooming species (Sanguinaria canadensis, Iris cristata, and Trillium rugelii) at the southern terminus of the Appalachians exhibit a similar change in onset of flowering over several decades. All three species exhibited significantly earlier flower onset during the past 120 years, a change that could have reproductive and ecological consequences.

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