Phenology is the study of the timing of life cycle events, such as plant flowering and animal migrations. Resource managers and citizen scientists are studying phenological events in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Warmer spring temperatures have also led beetles, moths and butterflies to emerge earlier than in recent years. Similarly, hibernating species like frogs and bears emerge from hibernation earlier in warm springs.
All species don’t respond to warming the same way. When species that depend on one another — such as pollinating insects and plants seeking pollination – don’t respond similarly to changing conditions, populations suffer.
In Japan, the spring-flowering ephemeral Corydalis ambiguaproduces fewer seeds than in previous decades because it now flowers earlier than when bumblebees, its primary pollinators, are active. Similarly, populations of pied flycatchers – long-distance migrating birds that still arrive at their breeding grounds at the regular time – are declining steeply, because populations of caterpillars that the flycatchers eat now peak prior to the birds’ arrival.
Article by John Cook, George Mason University Image: Pardon me while I blow this out of proportion. Blowfish image via www.shutterstock.com. A famous psychology experiment instructed participants to watch a short video, counting the number of times players in white shirts passed the ball. If you haven’t seen it before, I encourage you to give the following […]
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Top photo: The fertile, mountainous terrain of Colombia’s coffee-producing central region is vulnerable to climate change impacts such as stronger storms and hotter temperatures. (Image by Eddy Milfort/flickr, CC BY-SA) Authors: Jessica Eise, Purdue University and Natalie White, Purdue University Leer en español. In Colombia’s coffee-producing region of Risaralda, small trees run along the sharp […]