#Thread | Here's how climate-induced changes in plant behavior are hurting local economies across India.

📸 Pixabay Man Picking Yellow Cocoa Fruit
1⃣ In #Uttarakhand, increasingly warmer winters are making #Rhododendrons bloom earlier than usual; during February-March instead of its usual schedule of March-May.

📸 Ssteaj - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
The season is not the best time for #Rhododendrons, because late winter rains in February-March wash away the blooms, affecting local population dependent on making juice, jams and jellies from the flowers.
Local villagers and small manufacturers have to spend more money on storage facilities to preserve the flowers for a longer duration.
2⃣The yellowish-white flowers of Chinese #Albizia are appearing at least a month later in #Mizoram. Yet another study showed remarkable changes in the usual flowering and fruiting time of six varieties of trees.

📸Dinesh Valke, CC BY-SA 2.0
3⃣In #Karnataka, the Butea Monosperma (#Palash) tree put on its famous flaming red flowers in January instead of the usual February-March period.

📸Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay
4⃣In #Karnataka, the flowering time of #cocoa peaked around October-November. After 2008, however, the peak flowering period has shifted to December-January.

📸Daniel Cifuentes from Pixabay
Owing to this, the #cocoafruit harvesting season coincides with heavy #monsoon rains, leading to higher crop disease prevalence and significant loss of yield.
As demand for #chocolate rises exponentially, most companies have to import processed cocoa beans, due to heavy rains regularly hitting the supply in India. This, in turn, not only affects the domestic processing industry but also increases the cost of chocolate.
This disruption in the seasonal behavior of flower species could also be directly linked to breeding behavior of birds and insects and infestation of diseases that can have major ramifications for public health and food security.

In India, @seasonwatch_in is the only platform regularly monitoring behavioral changes in trees. #Government initiatives can dovetail this information with meteorological observations to devise better management plans for the uncertain future.
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