How does flowering time (and other phonological traits) evolve? Can we predict the future?
Read this paper by Rubin and colleagues. Flowering time is a very hot trait these days, in part because we have been able to document shifts in flowering time over the last century for many species, in many parts of the world. It’s a big trait showing impacts of climate change, and much of this work has been done on herbarium specimens – finding evidence of changes in collection dates over time, with the expectation that as times goes on, temperatures are increasing, and flowering is starting earlier in response. This paper goes at flowering time from a different perspective, asking about genetic variation for flowering time in a single population – there’s lots! They then look to see how flowering time (and a few other traits) change with different photoperiods. The idea here is that flowering earlier will affect the daylength at which you develop.
Lastly, I wanted to point out that this paper is very nicely written, and makes especially good use of topic sentences.