Study finds flower timing key to reproducing

Early flowering plants in the temperate zone have a greater chance of reproducing than late flowering plants, a study has revealed.

Results of the 18-month project, which was carried out by the University of Northampton and leading Mexican academics, were published recently in Ecology Letters.

Reader in biodiversity at Northampton Dr Jeff Ollerton said: "Ecologically the flowering time of plants is important for pollination. If a plant does not flower at the right time it could miss its pollinators or be adversely affected by frost or drought and won't set any seeds."

He added: "Our research looked at the variation in flowering time within plant populations and the extent to which the timing matters to plant reproduction.

"We found that early flowering plants in the temperate zone tend to have a greater chance of reproducing than later flowering ones. This could be important for the future as climate change brings earlier spring flowering in the northern hemisphere."


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