Climate change alters plant mating systems

Viola sororia (Common Blue Violet)

Matthew Austin‘s new open access paper in the American Journal of Botany on how climate has affected plant mating systems is making waves! Using herbarium specimens, Matt found that over the last 100 years, the rate of cleistogamy (asexual flowering) has decreased among Viola sororia, the common blue violet. This change was predicted by increases in temperature and lower precipitation. His article was highlighted by the journal, the St. Louis Post Dispatch and Missouri Botanical Garden’s Discover & Share blog.

This work is doubly important, as it was the subject of Piper Cole’s REU research project!

Climate change is associated with increased allocation to potential outcrossing in a common mixed mating species [open access]
MA Austin, P Cole, K Olsen, and AB Smith. In press. American Journal of Botany 109:1085-1096.