Effects of temperature, phase type and timing, location, and human density on plant phenological responses in Europe

Estrella, Nicole; Sparks, Tim H.; Menzel, Annette. 2009 Effects of temperature, phase type and timing, location, and human density on plant phenological responses in Europe. Climate Research, 39 (3). 235-248.

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Phenological onset dates are closely linked to temperature. In this study, we analysed a phenological dataset collected during the COST 725 Action ‘Establishing a European phenological data platform for climatological applications’, which contained more than 36000 phenological time series for Europe covering 1971–2000. We analysed the temperature response of the phenological phases, their regional differences, and the relationship between the sizes of the local temperature and phenology trends in connection with a high-resolution climate grid of Europe. As an external factor, we examined the influence of human population density on phenology. Our analyses confirm differences in behaviour between annual and perennial plants in Europe. The average temperature response of perennial plants was significantly greater (–4.2 d °C–1) than that of annual agricultural crops (–3.0 d °C–1). The correlation between temperature and phenology trends was greatest for leaf unfolding of fruit trees and deciduous trees (r = –0.63 and –0.46, respectively). The geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) had only a modest influence on the mean onset of the groups of phases; however, inclusion of altitude improved the models for some groups.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biodiversity > CC01A Detection and Attribution of Change in UK and European Ecosystems > CC01.3 UK Phenology Network
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pywell
ISSN: 0936-577X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: The online version of this article is available with Open Access from the journal website:
Additional Keywords: Climate impacts, Phenology, Population density, Temperature response
NORA Subject Terms: Meteorology and Climatology
Earth Sciences
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 22 Oct 2009 12:03 +0 (UTC)

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