Fall colors above average this year

Karl Niklas, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of plant biology, focuses on the relationship between plants and the physical environment, predicts the 2015 fall season will be filled with beautiful, vibrant colors despite the lack of rainfall.


Niklas says:

“Autumn coloration will be average or perhaps better than average this year.

“Leaf coloration depends on temperature and rainfall, but it also depends on the health of a forest. Overall, we had a reasonable amount of rainfall, about average temperatures and forest health appears normal as well. However, a lack of rainfall in the Finger Lakes region has resulted in early leaf fall of some species.

“The autumnal coloration will commence at higher elevations in the Northeastern parts of the state. Cooler weather will arrive at these higher elevations, which have more well-drained soil. As a consequence of the confluence of drier soils and lower temperatures, the plants will respond by going into dormancy sooner, which for deciduous species entails drawing nutrients from leaves that in turn results in coloration of leaves.”


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