Plants flowering early in the UK

Plants flowering early in the UK

Spring is starting almost a month earlier than usual with flowers blooming already.  Whilst this may be seen as positive, in truth it could spell disaster for various insects, birds and other animals.  If plants continue to flower early, they could be affected by frost which would cause damage to the plant, namely seeds, nectar and fruits which would reduce harvests and reduce food for various wildlife that rely on them.  This early flowering could even lead towards a concept called ecological mismatch, where plant species and animal species fall out of sync with one another, creating widespread consequences throughout the ecosystems they are in, as well as influencing farming. 

The early blooms relate directly with the increasing temperature of our climate, with Cambridge researchers comparing the first flowering dates of 1753-1986 to 1987-2019, finding a strong correlation between the increase in global warming and the quickening of flowering with herbs blooming a month earlier than they used to. Global warming is also the cause of later leaf fall in autumn which may have a similar effect to early spring in potentially causing ecological mismatch. 

 

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