Fall Chrysanthemum Show Opening Lecture
Friday, November 6, 2015, 7:30 pm
Campus Center Carroll Room
Horticultural Insights into Plant Conservation and Climate Change
by Dr. Jesse Bellemare, Assistant Professor, Biology, Smith College
Climate change is predicted to be a major threat to biodiversity in coming years. It is unclear how plant species will respond to this challenge: if they will be able to tolerate new climatic conditions in their native ranges, or if their dispersal and migration capacities will be sufficient to keep up as their preferred climate zones shift northward.
Native plant horticulture in the eastern U.S. provides a largely untapped trove of data on these pressing questions, as many species have been grown outside their native ranges for decades and, in some cases, have even escaped to colonize new geographic areas. These data are helping to recalibrate ecological models and guide the development of new conservation approaches, including controversial steps like "assisted migration".
Dr. Jesse Bellemare is an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Smith College. His research focuses on plant ecology, biogeography, and conservation in relation to climate change, as well as ecosystem changes caused by exotic species.
A reception and preview of the Fall Chrysanthemum Show at the Lyman Plant House will follow.