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Impacts of weather on Field Gentian Gentianella campestris population fluctuation


Populations of Field Gentian Gentianella campestris in southwest England have been recorded to be fluctuating in biennial boom-and-bust cycles (see Figure 1), a pattern not apparent in northern populations.

In collaboration with the Species Recovery Trust, exploratory data analysis is being conducted to elucidate drivers of these fluctuations in population size.

Pictured: not Gentianella campestris but Gentianopsis ciliata - Mt Vogel, Slovenia

Following work with the Species Recovery Trust on the Green Hound’s-tongue Cynoglossum germanicum project, I was approached to run analysis on Field Gentian Gentianella campestris population data. G. campestris population size at sites in the New Forest has been fluctuating between ‘boom’ and ‘bust’ years since 2016 (start of dataset). Fine-scale weather data has been procured from the Met Office, from the weather station approximately 15 miles from the G. campestris sites.

The aim is to discern any effect of weather on this population fluctuation.

This work is ongoing. Once complete, a methods report will be available here. Annotated code will be uploaded to my Github repository.


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