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Title: The growing and vital role of botanical gardens in climate change research

Botanical gardens make unique contributions to climate change research, conservation, and public engagement. They host unique resources, including diverse collections of plant species growing in natural conditions, historical records, and expert staff, and attract large numbers of visitors and volunteers. Networks of botanical gardens spanning biomes and continents can expand the value of these resources. Over the past decade, research at botanical gardens has advanced our understanding of climate change impacts on plant phenology, physiology, anatomy, and conservation. For example, researchers have utilized botanical garden networks to assess anatomical and functional traits associated with phenological responses to climate change. New methods have enhanced the pace and impact of this research, including phylogenetic and comparative methods, and online databases of herbarium specimens and photographs that allow studies to expand geographically, temporally, and taxonomically in scope. Botanical gardens have grown their community and citizen science programs, informing the public about climate change and monitoring plants more intensively than is possible with garden staff alone. Despite these advances, botanical gardens are still underutilized in climate change research. To address this, we review recent progress and describe promising future directions for research and public engagement at botanical gardens.

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Journal Name:
New Phytologist
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 917-932
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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