Climate change and phenology - Most of our current research follows from our interest in the effects of climate change on phenology, or seasonal biological events. Spring events are occuring earlier now than they did in the past, as this pair of photographs show. Both photos were taken on Memorial Day, one in 1868 and the other in 2005. In 1868, trees had not yet leafed out, but in 2005 the same trees were fully green.
Flowering times in Concord, Massachusetts - How have flowering times changed over the past 150 years, a time of rapid climate change? We are attempting to answer that question by examining the botanical record of Concord. We are looking for clues as to why some species' flowering times have changed dramatically as a result of climate change, while other species do not seem to have been affected. The results of this study will describe one way in which communities may shift in response to climate change.
New sources of long-term phenological data - Long-term data documenting how species have responded to climate change are relatively rare. We are attempting to identify novel sources of long-term phenological data to be used in climate change research. We are also testing these new sources of data to find the strengths and limitations of each source.
Changing flora of Concord - Several generations of botanists have documented the presence and absence of plant species in Concord. We are now examining this exceptional botanical record to identify species that have become rare or locally extinct and those that have become common over the past 150 years. We are also asking, why might certain species' abundances have changed so dramatically over that time.
bird Changing bird migration times - Some migratory birds have been arriving in New England much earlier in recent years than in the past. The question is why are only some species arriving earlier? We are using long-term banding records from Manoment Center for Conservation Sciences to answer just that question.