LOVE them or loathe them, jacarandas, with their brilliant purple petals, have an important story to reveal about the effects of climate change. The familiar Sydney trees are part of a new ''citizen scientist'' project in which visitors to the Royal Botanic Gardens can observe a selection of plants and animals and record information such as whether they are in bloom, nesting, or flying about.
Brett Summerell, director of science and public programs for the gardens, said all the data would be made freely available to researchers studying the biological impacts of a changing environment. It was hoped visitors would go back to their own backyard, park or local bushland and continue to observe indicator species, for years if possible, uploading their reports onto the ClimateWatch website.
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