PAPER: Community-level phenological response to climate change

Good news: the phenology paper that we have prepared with researchers from Kivach has been accepted for publication in PNAS (which is considered to be the third best science journal in the world, after Science and Nature). I copied below the title and the abstract of the paper. Can’t post the whole paper yet as it will take a couple of months before it will come out.

Community-level phenological response to climate change
Otso Ovaskainen, Svetlana Skorokhodova, Marina Yakovleva, Alexander Sukhov, Anatoliy Kutenkov, Nadezhda Kutenkova, Anatoliy Shcherbakov, Evegeniy Meyke & Maria Delgado
Climate change may disrupt interspecies phenological synchrony, with adverse consequences to ecosystem functioning. We present a 40-year-long time series on 10,425 dates that were systematically collected in a single Russian locality for 97 plant, 78 bird, 10 herptile, 19 insect and 9 fungal phenological events, as well as for 77 climatic events related to temperature, precipitation, snow, ice and frost. We show that species are shifting their phenologies at dissimilar rates, partly because they respond to different climatic factors, which in turn are shifting at dissimilar rates. Plants have advanced their spring phenology even faster than average temperature has increased, whereas migratory birds have shown more divergent responses and shifted on average less than plants. Phenological events of birds and insects were mainly triggered by climate cues (variation in temperature and snow and ice cover) occurring over short-time periods, whereas many plants, herptiles and fungi were affected by long-term climatic averages. Year-to-year variation in plants, herptiles and insects showed a high degree of synchrony, whereas the phenological timing of fungi did not correlate with any other taxonomic group. In many cases species that are synchronous in their year-to-year dynamics have also shifted in congruence, suggesting that climate change may have disrupted phenological synchrony less than what has been previously assumed. Our results illustrate how a multidimensional change in the physical environment has translated into a community-level change in phenology.

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