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Climate change and botanic gardens

Prepared by the ANBG Library

Last updated 12/10/06

Indicators of climate change

Clark , M & Thompson, R 2004, ‘Botanical records reveal changing seasons in a warming world’, Australasian Science, vol. 25, no. 9, pp. 37-39.
[Examines the potential for old and long-term records of flowering to reveal changes in climate, in particular using records from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh.]

Miller-Rushing, AJ. Primack, D, Primack, RB, Imbres, C & Del Tredici, P 2004, ‘Herbarium specimens as a novel tool for climate change research’, Arnoldia, vol. 63, no. 2, pp. 26-32.

Peñuelas, J & Azcon-Bieto, J 1992, ‘Changes in leaf 13C of herbarium plant species during the last three centuries of CO2 increase’, Plant, Cell and Environment, vol. 15, pp. 485-489.

Primack, D, Imbres, C, Primack, RB, Miller-Rushing, AJ, Del Tredici, P 2004, ‘Herbarium specimens demonstrate earlier flowering times in response to warming in Boston’, American Journal of Botany, vol. 91, no. 8, pp. 1260-1264.

Impacts of climate change

Bisgrove, R & Hadley, P 2002, Gardening in the global greenhouse: the impacts of climate change on gardens in the UK: technical report, UK Climate Impacts Programme, Oxford. Also available via the Internet at:
[This review covers a wide range of material, from photosynthetic pathways and evapo-transpiration, to garden history and concepts of garden conservation.]

Parris, KM & Hazell, DL 2005, ‘Biotic effects of climate change in urban environments : the case of the grey-headed flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) in Melbourne, Australia’, Biological Conservation, vol. 124, no. 2, pp. 267-276.
[It appears that human activities have increased temperatures and effective precipitation in central Melbourne, creating a more suitable climate for camps of grey-headed flying fox, as recorded at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.]

Role of botanic gardens

Anon 2002, ‘The impacts of climate change on gardens in the UK’, Botanic Gardens Conservation News, vol. 3, no. 9, pp. 43-44.
[A summary of the 2002 report by R Bisgrove and P. Hadley titled ‘Gardening in the global greenhouse’.]

Anon 2006, ‘Plant conservation in a changing world: botanic gardens take lead in climate change talks’, Cuttings: Botanic Gardens Conservation InternationalQuarterly Newsletter, vol. 3, no. 3, p. 1.
[Concern over the expected increase in extinction rate of plants as global temperatures continue to rise, the BGCI together with the Botanic Garden ‘Veira y Clavijo’ convened a meeting in Spain in April 2006. As a result the group formulated ‘The Gran Canaria Declaration on Climate Change and Plant Conservation’ which calls upon governments to take urgent action to increase protection for the world’s plants, The Group also agreed that ex situ collections have a key role to play in securing the conservation of wild plant species and that botanic gardens have the capacity to play a leading role in heightening public awareness of climate change and plant conservation.]

Anon 2006, The Gran Canaria Declaration II on climate change and plant conservation, Botanical Gardens Conservation International, Kew, England.
Available via the Internet at:

Anon 1999, ‘A review of international conventions which affect the work of botanic gardens: the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’, Botanic Gardens Conservation News, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 44-45.
[Discusses key articles of relevance to botanic gardens and describes two botanic gardens programmes: the Ozone Campaign in Germany and sustainable garden design in Wales.]

Hoversten, ME 2002, ‘The advocacy garden: a emerging model’, Public Garden, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 34-37.
[The advocacy garden represents an issue-oriented garden whose mission is to change humanity’s relation to the earth.]

Smith, A 1997, ‘Environmental education in botanic gardens: is it helping to save biodiversity ?’, in DH Touchell & KW Dixon (eds) Conservation into the 21 st century : proceedings of the 4 th International Botanic Gardens Conservation Congress, Perth, Western Australia, Kings Park and Botanic Garden, West Perth, W.A., pp. 323-328.
[Botanic gardens education programs can assist scientific conservation efforts by changing community attitudes and behaviour and by getting people directly involved in conservation work.]

Stevenson, RD 2003, ‘The Dandelion Project, climate change and a framework for citizen science’, in, Impacts of climate change: developing a research and education outreach agenda, Clean Air-Cool Planet & American Society for Horticultural Science, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 9 p. Also available via the Internet at:
[Describes the Dandelion Project, where school children in the US get direct experience with climate change issues by monitoring dandelion phenology at large spatial scales using web technologies. Discusses a framework for doing citizen science projects.]

Tilbury, D & Calvo, S 2005, ‘International agendas: implications for botanic garden education’, Roots, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 5-8.
[Explores how botanic gardens education programs may contribute to addressing local needs in the context of international goals such as the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, 2005-2014.]

Willison, J 1997, ‘Botanic gardens as agents for social change’, in, DH Touchell & KW Dixon (eds) Conservation into the 21 st century : proceedings of the 4 th International Botanic Gardens Conservation Congress, Perth, Western Australia, Kings Park and Botanic Garden, West Perth, W.A., pp. 339-344.
[Discusses the public education role of botanic gardens in promoting positive social change for a sustainable future.]

Seed banking

Anon 2005, ‘Travellers in space and time’, Floreo, no. 12, pp. 4-5.
[Describes the involvement of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne in the Millennium Seed Bank Project.]

Savolainen, V & Reeves, G 2004, “A plea for DNA banking’, Science, vol. 304, issue 5676, p. 1445.
[The Millennium Seed Bank Project at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew is the most comprehensive DNA bank for plants. It has a role in preserving plants threatened with extinction by climate change and other adverse environmental conditions.]

Smith, PP 2006, ‘Seeds for the future’, Plant Talk, no. 43, pp. 28-31,42. Also available via the Internet at:
[Describes the Royal Botanic Garden Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank Project.]


Howden, M, Hughes, L, Dunlop, M, Zethoven, I, Hilbert, D & Chilcott, C (eds) 2003, Climate change in impacts on biodiversity in Australia: outcomes of a workshop sponsored by the Biological Diversity Advisory Committee, 1-2 October 2002, Environment Australia, Canberra. Also available via the Internet at:

Pickering, C, Good, R& Green, K 2004, Potential effects of global warming on the biota of the Australia Alps: a report for the Australian Greenhouse Office, Australian Greenhouse Office, Canberra. Also available via the Internet at:

Steffen, W 2006, Stronger evidence but new challenges: climate change science 2001-2005, Australian Greenhouse Office, Dept of the Environment & Heritage, Canberra. Also available via the Internet at:


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