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.
Top Photo: Street in Hangzhou, China, with trees separating a cycle track from road traffic and from the sidewalk. (Xu Wen, CC BY-ND) Author: Anne Lusk, Harvard University City streets and sidewalks in the United States have been engineered for decades to keep vehicle occupants and pedestrians safe. If streets include trees at all, they […]
By Sue Branford and Maurício Torres This article originally appeared on Mongabay.com, 6 November 2017 (Republished under under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND). A new study finds the world’s tropical forests may no longer be carbon sinks, with a net loss of 425 million tons of carbon from 2003 to 2014. Also, 1.1 billion metric tons of carbon is […]
All Text and Images: Elham Shabahat This article originally appeared on Mongabay.com, 27, June 2018 (Republished under under Creative Commons CC BY-ND 4.0). The Critically Endangered mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei), has been brought back from extinction’s brink in Rwanda, with numbers in the Virunga Mountains around Volcanoes National Park estimated at 604 individuals in 2016, up […]