What is it about?

Successful pollination in wind-pollinated plants with separate male and female individuals (i.e., dioecious) is dependent upon both sexes flowering together and before leaves emerge and physically block pollen dispersal. We demonstrate that in cottonwoods (Populus), males generally flower earlier and advance their flowering time to greater degrees in response to warming compared to females. Also, we show that flowering times overall advance faster with warming than does the timing of leaf out.

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Why is it important?

Climate change driven shifts in the absolute and relative timing of male and female flowering, as well as leaf development, will impact species' reproductive success and gene flow among and within species.


Our study builds upon natural history collections of pressed, dried plants (i.e., herbarium specimens) and community science observations, demonstrating how these invaluable resources can be used to study biodiversity responses to global change.

Daniel Park
Purdue University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Sex-dependent phenological responses to climate vary across species’ ranges, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, November 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2306723120.
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