Those who visit the northern Appalachian Trail’s upper elevations can be greeted by spring blooms of white, pink, and purple flowers. To a hiker this is a bonus and maybe even a photo opportunity, but to the Appalachian Mountain Club’s (AMC) research staff their blooming time is of great interest. AMC has tracked flowering times of northeastern montane plants since 2004 as part of our ongoing mountain climate research and a citizen science program called Mountain Watch.
Concurrently we are investigating temperature trends at upper elevations with partners from the Mount Washington Observatory, the University of New Hampshire, and Plymouth State University (Seidel et al., 2009, Murray et al., 2014). Recently AMC merged its phenology and climate data to determine if alpine plants are blooming earlier and at greater risk from late season frost. Read more here