Millions of herbarium specimens collected over the past two centuries provide unique insights into continental-scale patterns of plant diversity. With my colleagues Daniel Park, Aaron Ellison, and Charles Davis at Harvard University, we have developed an approach to crowd-source reproductive phenology data collection from digitized specimens. Our initial work resulted in recording buds, flowers, and fruits from ~10,000 specimens of 30 plant species. We have used the data to estimate continental-scale patterns of plant reproductive phenology, revealing a surprising amount of variation in plant responses to climate across regions.
A paper describing this work is currently in press at ProcB.