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Lessons from a meadow
Date:3/18/2014

pete for the same pollinator. "

Phenological changes, the researchers say, can reshape the various aspects of biological systems across the world and potentially even affect agriculture and the global food supply.

"It's a cascading effect," CaraDonna said. "Climate changes not only how plants interact with each other but how they interact with animals like pollinators and seed eaters, too. Climate change is happening all over the world, and we can expect spillover effects that add up and may very well influence agricultural systems."

Exactly how those changes reshape ecosystems will require more research, according to CaraDonna and his collaborators.

In the meantime, their study provides data that could inform algorithms used in simulations that model phenological change to help predict what the future might have in store.

"We now know that first flowering advances the strongest under warming temperatures; the time of peak flowering a bit less, and the timing of last flowering varies quite a bit," Iler said. "Even if other scientists who are modeling phenological change for other systems may not be able to use our data directly, they can at least make educated decisions on how to weight these factors differently to make those models more realistic."

"We hope our study sets a new standard," she added. "It is exciting to see the National Phenology Network, which is based in Tucson, encourage citizen scientists help collect data, and they are starting to use this kind of information."


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Contact: Daniel Stolte
stolte@email.arizona.edu
520-626-4402
University of Arizona
Source:Eurekalert  

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