Urban lights influence growing seasons
City lights that blaze all night are profoundly disrupting urban plants’ phenology – shifting when their buds open in the spring and when their leaves change colors and drop in the fall.
New research shows how nighttime lights are lengthening the growing season in cities, which can affect everything from allergies to local economies.
This shift in plants’ biological clocks has important implications for the economic, climate, health and ecological services that urban plants provide.
Understanding these interactions between plants and artificial light and temperature will help scientists predict changes in plant processes under a changing climate.
Cities are already serving as natural laboratories.
Read a summary at “The Conversation” by researcher Yuyu Zhou, Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Iowa State University.
Photo by Patrick Robert Doyle on Unsplash