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Forest Ecologist,

Department of Natural Resources,

Cornell University




Friday, March 2, 8:45 to 9:45am

Native Plant Responses to Climate Change in Cornell’s Mundy Wildflower Garden: Thirty Years of Data!

The timing of the flowering of plants has been recorded for over 500 species for the past 30 years in the Mundy Wildflower Garden of the Cornell Botanic Garden here in Ithaca.  This is one of the longest term continuous records of plant phenology anywhere in our country.  Dr. Weinstein will discuss the changes that have occurred over that time, and how it corresponds to changes in our climate.  He will identify which plants have been responding and what characteristics of these plants make them susceptible to climate change while others are untouched.  Using this information as a take-off point, he will guide his audience on a journey to understand just how important these climate effects are to the survival of our native plants.

About David

David Weinstein has been a forest ecologist at Cornell University for over 30 years, currently with the Department of Natural Resources.  His work focuses on identifying ways to manage forests to improve the adaptability of these ecosystems and the plants they contain to climate change, disease, invasives and other threats.  In this work, he has constructed computer models to predict the growth of forests under a wide variety of conditions and in locations all over the United States.  Along with a group of dedicated volunteers at the Cornell Botanic Garden, he has been analyzing long term records of plant flowering to detect whether climate change has been altering their behavior, and consequently, their ability to sustain themselves.  From his early days researching long-term dynamics of old growth forests in the Great Smoky Mountains to his recent work on the plants of central New York, he has sought practical evidence and understanding about what makes plant communities tick.  He spends his days joyfully walking (or skiing through) our woods with his lovely wife, Christina, and serving on public boards fighting for the protections that our natural communities need to survive and thrive.

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