Orchid Observers Talk

How does the slow spring of 2015 affect the science?

  • pjm19 by pjm19

    I'd be interested to know the thoughts of scientists on the effect of the slow spring of 2015 on the science results. Presumably, this has delayed flowering of many species relative to other recent years. Presumably this will also reduce the potential to detect the effects of climate change on flowering times? Also, is the project only runnign for 2015, and how will that affect the sample of flowering times: will it produce a bias relative to the herbarium data?


  • kathcas79 by kathcas79 scientist

    Hi pjm, many thanks for your post - I have alerted Mark Spencer, who is the Orchid Observers lead scientific researcher, to respond to your comment.


  • hotfungus by hotfungus scientist

    Dear pmj, Sorry to be slow getting back to you, I've been away quite a lot recently. One of the members of our research group has significant expertise and experience in statistics (not me! I am dreadful at such things); her role is to analyze the data generated by this project (and other projects that the team are working on) and ensure that our conclusions are based upon a sound understanding of variations in the data. These variations include the annual changes in the seasons - a single warmer or colder flowering season (year) is only a small part of the time series (approximately 150 years) we are studying. Therefore, a single year's records will influence the total data gathered over the longer term but it is the overall trend that we are interested in. If anything, we would be introducing 'bias' by not using years that we may view as 'early or 'late'. As yet, the project is only planned for this year but who knows what the new year may bring! More seriously, all research (including citizen science based work) has to be funded - my colleagues are looking into the longer term on that front. Best wishes, Mark Spencer