As the climate warms, many plants are flowering earlier in the year. This can be beneficial, allowing plants to take advantage of warmer spring temperatures. However, it can also have unintended consequences, potentially changing interactions with pollinators, pests, or risking flower damage from unexpected frosts. Plants in alpine environments, already facing a short summer and harsh climate, are especially at risk from climate change. How well can they “track” the conditions they need simply by flowering earlier in the year? In this talk, we’ll answer this question by exploring how a charismatic alpine flower (Silene acaulis) is responding to climate change in the Rocky Mountains.
Megan DeMarche studies the ecology and evolution of plants in the wild. She graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity in 2009 and completed a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from UC Santa Cruz in 2015. She began studying alpine plants as a postdoctoral researcher at CU Boulder, and has been monitoring changes in flowering time at Niwot Ridge, Colorado since 2016. She joined the Plant Biology Department at the University of Georgia as a Haines Family Distinguished Assistant Professor in Field Botany in 2020.
This event is free following admission into the Garden.
September 15, 6 p.m. ET
Location: Mershon Hall