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Advances in phenology are conserved across scale in present and future climates

Advances in phenology are conserved across scale in present and future climates Warming temperatures are advancing the timing of seasonal vegetation development in the extratropics, altering plant–animal interactions and increasing the risk of trophic asynchrony. Forest understories are critical yet under-observed ecosystems in which phenological patterns are both altered and obscured by overstory trees. We address the challenge of observing phenological dynamics in the understory by exploiting the physiological relationship between plant phenology and temperature accumulation, a horticultural principle we show to be preserved across spatial scales through a combination of field and growth-chamber observations. These observations provide the foundation for a spaceborne thermal-observation framework, which can trace the discrete phenophases of forest understory plants in near-real time. The thermal basis of this framework also enables the prediction of understory phenology for future climates, which we demonstrate here using Shepherdia canadensis, a widespread fruiting shrub of western North America that has important trophic connections to frugivores. Our approach enables researchers to assess the regional-scale impacts of climate change on bottom-up forest ecosystems and to monitor emerging trophic mismatches. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nature Climate Change Springer Journals

Advances in phenology are conserved across scale in present and future climates

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References (74)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2019 by The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited
Subject
Environment; Environment, general; Climate Change; Climate Change/Climate Change Impacts; Environmental Law/Policy/Ecojustice
ISSN
1758-678X
eISSN
1758-6798
DOI
10.1038/s41558-019-0454-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Warming temperatures are advancing the timing of seasonal vegetation development in the extratropics, altering plant–animal interactions and increasing the risk of trophic asynchrony. Forest understories are critical yet under-observed ecosystems in which phenological patterns are both altered and obscured by overstory trees. We address the challenge of observing phenological dynamics in the understory by exploiting the physiological relationship between plant phenology and temperature accumulation, a horticultural principle we show to be preserved across spatial scales through a combination of field and growth-chamber observations. These observations provide the foundation for a spaceborne thermal-observation framework, which can trace the discrete phenophases of forest understory plants in near-real time. The thermal basis of this framework also enables the prediction of understory phenology for future climates, which we demonstrate here using Shepherdia canadensis, a widespread fruiting shrub of western North America that has important trophic connections to frugivores. Our approach enables researchers to assess the regional-scale impacts of climate change on bottom-up forest ecosystems and to monitor emerging trophic mismatches.

Journal

Nature Climate ChangeSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 15, 2019

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