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Gardening in the Global Greenhouse: The Impacts of Climate Change on Gardens in the UK Richard Bisgrove and Paul Hadley , Centre for Horticulture and Landscape The University of Reading The brief To apply the UKCIP02 scenarios to gardens and allied industries.

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slide1

Gardening in the Global Greenhouse: The Impacts of Climate Change on Gardens in the UK

Richard Bisgrove and Paul Hadley,Centre for Horticulture and Landscape

The University of Reading

the brief
The brief
  • To apply the UKCIP02 scenarios to gardens and allied industries.

Long term trends in climate change.

Extreme weather events

(Land use changes)

carbon dioxide concentrations will rise
Carbon dioxide concentrations will rise
  • Affects plants directly through photosynthesis
  • Plants will grow more rapidly.
  • Plants will be sturdier.
  • …..but will need more work to control excess growth.
slide5

Temperatures will rise

  • Earlier springs, later autumns and longer growing seasons.
  • More hot and very hot summer days.
  • Much less frost and frost damage – except possibly in autumn.
  • Reduced winter chilling
  • Increased loss of soil carbon
  • Increased evaporation
summer rainfall will decrease
Summer rainfall will decrease
  • More frequent and prolonged droughts.
  • The main casualties will be the UK lawn, large trees - especially beech - and many herbaceous perennials.
  • Hotter, drier conditions will favour pests such as spider mite, aphids and allow the spread of exotic pests.
  • The iconic image of the UK as a green and pleasant land is under serious threat.
autumn and spring rainfall will also decrease
Autumn and spring rainfall will also decrease
  • Conditions for gardening and garden visiting will improve.
  • Earlier displays of bulbs and other spring flowers, and brighter autumn colour.
  • Conservation of water will become increasingly important.
  • Return of autumn as the main planting season?
  • Nurseries might capitalise on the ending of summer drought as a stimulus for gardening
winter rainfall will increase but evaporation will also increase
Winter rainfall will increase ...BUT evaporation will also increase.
  • Lower soil moisture reserves in much of the country.
  • Potential for a more Mediterranean garden flora.
  • ….but the winter light climate will not be Mediterranean.
  • Wetter and warmer winters will favour the spread of root fungi, and may increase damage from waterlogging.
winter rainfall will be increasingly concentrated into heavy downpours
Winter rainfall will be increasingly concentrated into heavy downpours
  • Flood risks are increased.
  • The need for water conservation measures become more important.
  • (Intense precipitation events become less common in summer).
wind speeds are not expected to increase significantly as a result of climate change
Wind speeds are not expected to increase significantly as a result of climate change
  • But small increase in wind speed may result in large increases in wind-throw especially as trees become larger
sea level will rise
Sea level will rise
  • Combined with windier conditions in winter this will result in significant increases in storm water surges and a dramatic increase in flooding of coastal sites
overall impacts
Overall Impacts:
  • Increased opportunities for adventurous gardening in the small, private garden.
  • Increased difficulties for the conservation of historically important gardens and plant collections.
  • Increased opportunities for nurserymen to enlarge the UK plant palette and perhaps to extend the garden season.
  • Increased challenges for the water supply industry to meet and manage the demand for water by gardeners.
overall message
Overall message.......
  • Climate change is here and here to stay.
  • Adverse effects of climate change are exacerbated by land use intensification.
  • We can develop some resilience to climate change by good gardening.
  • Gardens have an important part to play in the UK psyche
  • ….and in reversing the adverse effects of development.
  • By extending the principle of good gardening in the UK landscape as a whole we can retain the reality and the perception of the UK as a green and pleasant land