Monday, December 17, 2018

Botanical Gardens are Ripe for Research

Posted by Tara K. Miller

“Flowers were made to be seen not overlooked.”
-Henry David Thoreau in his Journal, June 15, 1852

In late November, Richard Primack and I attended a meeting of botanical gardens at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research in Leipzig to discuss establishing an international network to monitor wildflower phenology.

Meeting participants came together from Austria, Canada, China, Germany, Norway, Scotland, and the United States.

Phenology is the timing of biological events, like flowering and fruiting.  These events are important for the survival and reproduction of wildflowers, as well as for other species that interact with wildflowers, including insects and birds. This field has taken on added significance due to the effects of climate change.

 Insects visit a Campanula species

Participants shared their experiences with phenological research and citizen science.  As a network, we plan to monitor a shared list of species that we can then compare across botanical gardens in different countries and climates.

Curator Martin Freiberg leads a tour of the Leipzig Botanical Garden

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