Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Extreme autumn temperatures cause unseasonable flowering in the Netherlands

21.12.2006
Observers in the Netherlands reported that more than 240 wild plant species were flowering in December, along with more than 200 cultivated species.

According to biologist Arnold van Vliet of Wageningen University, this unseasonable flowering is being caused by extremely high autumn temperatures. The mean autumn temperature in 2006 was 13.6°C, which is 3.4°C above the long-term average. It was even 1.6°C warmer than in 2005, which was previously the warmest autumn since 1706, when records were first kept.

It is very likely that other European countries also experienced unseasonable flowering due to the high temperatures. This information emerged from a unique, large-scale observation campaign conducted by volunteers during the first 15 days of the month.

The flowering observation campaign was coordinated by the Dutch phenological network Natuurkalender (Nature’s Calendar), which comprises organisations such as Wageningen University, the FLORON Foundation and the popular nature and wildlife radio programme Vroege Vogels (Early Birds). After the radio programme requested its listeners to make observations of plants in flower on the 10th of December, nearly 2000 observations were submitted by 280 volunteers via the Nature’s Calendar website.

The aim of the observation campaign was to determine the effects of the extreme weather conditions in the Netherlands during the second half of 2006. This year included not only the warmest July and September on record, but also the wettest August. Temperatures were far above normal: 3.7°C higher in September, 3.3°C higher in October and 3°C higher in November. The first 17 days of December were even more extreme, registering 4.2°C above normal. For the entire autumn the average temperature was 3.4°C above the long-term average and even 1.6°C warmer than the autumn of 2005, which was previously the warmest on record in the Netherlands.

An analysis of the observations revealed that over 240 wild plant species were observed to be flowering during the first 15 days of December. Examples of such species include Cow parsley, Sweet violet and Evening star. According to scientists at Wageningen University, only 2% of these plants normally flower in the winter, while 27% end their main flowering period in autumn and 56% before October. In addition, the observers reported that more than 200 garden plants were flowering in December.

According to this data, the unusually high temperatures are clearly lengthening the growing season. Leaf colouring and leaf fall of species like Oak and Beech occurred two to three weeks later than the average during the first half of the 20th century. For species such as Hazel, the flowering season began at least one month earlier than normal. Some Rhododendron varieties and Japanese Cherry also flowered at the beginning of December, while they previously flowered at the end of January or February. A complete overview of all the wild plants observed can be found at: www.natuurkalender.nl.

Van Vliet warns that the ecological consequences of the extreme temperatures and the longer growing season remain largely unknown. Next year will be an important year for ecologists to identify the impacts on plants and animals. The high temperatures in 2006 are likely to increase the numbers of warmth-loving species even further, a trend which has been observed for some time.

Jac Niessen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.natuurkalender.nl/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Minimized water consumption in CSP plants - EU project MinWaterCSP is making good progress
05.12.2017 | Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum

nachricht Jena Experiment: Loss of species destroys ecosystems
28.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

Im Focus: A transistor of graphene nanoribbons

Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making fuel out of thick air

08.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Rules for superconductivity mirrored in 'excitonic insulator'

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>