But researcher David Inouye of the University of Maryland says that the flowering plants’ response to climate change is complex, with different species responding in unexpected ways.
Inouye began counting flowers in the Rockies in 1974, long before climate change was even on the scientific radar.
He and his students have since amassed an enormous amount of data on wildflower blooming, and say the blooming times are now changing rapidly.
Writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, he says that the peak time of wildflowers bursting into bloom has moved up five days per decade during his study.
But he says that as the bloom season lengthens, the plants are not producing more flowers.
The same number of blooms is spread out over more days, so at peak bloom there may be fewer flowers.