Northampton and Mexican academics join forces to publish leading ecology research
Published Thursday 7th April 2011
Fundamental research into the flowering times of plants across the world has been published in one of the world’s most prestigious ecology journals.
Dr Jeff Ollerton, Reader in Biodiversity at The University of Northampton, teamed up with Mexican academics Dr Miguel Munguia-Rosas and Dr Victor Parra-Tabla to conduct the research.
The team worked together over the last 18 months to bring together published data and their own unpublished work into a single analysis of the effect of natural selection on shaping the flowering times of plants.
Following extensive review, the work has now been published as a paper in Ecology Letters - the world's second most highly ranked journal of its kind.
Ecologically the flowering time of plants is very important for pollination. If a plant does not flower at the right time it could miss its pollinators or be adversely affected by frost or drought and won't set any seeds.
Our research looked at the variation in flowering time within plant populations and the extent to which this timing matters to plant reproduction. We found that early flowering plants in the temperate zone tend to have a greater chance of reproducing than later flowering plants. This could be important in the future, as global climate change makes for earlier Spring flowering in the Northern Hemisphere.Dr Ollerton
This research was funded by CONACYT, the national science and technology funding organisation in Mexico, with some additional funding provided by Santander Universities.
The Northampton and Mexican team are now planning to work together on future joint UK-Mexico projects relating to flowering time and pollinator ecology.