UConn EEB professor Pamela Diggle has been awarded a collaborative NSF grant entitled “Can variation in flower development explain variation in phenological responses to temperature?” in collaboration with Christa Mulder (University of Alaska, Fairbanks).
Pam describes the funded project as follows:
Climate change has resulted in increased temperature means across the globe. Many angiosperms flower earlier in response to rising temperature, and the phenologies of these species are reasonably well predicted by models that account for spring (early growing season) and winter temperatures. Surprisingly, however, exceptions to the general pattern of precocious flowering are common. Many species either do not appear to respond or even delay flowering in, or following, warm years. Existing phenological models cannot explain such exceptions to the common association of advancing phenologies with warming temperatures. We will test 4 hypotheses that focus on developmental processes that occur during preformation of flowers in the year prior to anthesis and function. Field work will be done in Fairbanks and lab work at UConn. We will also develop project “Late Bloomers”, a citizen science network involving Alaskan Natives in remote areas of the state.