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CR 39:221-226 (2009)  -  DOI:

Advancing phenology in Europe’s last lowland primeval forest: non-linear temperature response

Tim H. Sparks1,4,*, Bogdan Jaroszewicz2, Marta Krawczyk3, Piotr Tryjanowski3

1NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Monks Wood, Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 2LS, UK
2Białowieża Geobotanical Station, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Sportowa 19, 17-230 Białowieża, Poland
3Department of Behavioural Ecology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Umultowska 89, 61-614 Poznań, Poland
4Present address: 68 Girton Road, Girton, Cambridge CB3 0LN, UK

ABSTRACT: We analysed phenological observations of first flowering and peak flowering dates of 7 species of woodland herbs in the Białowieża National Park (Poland), Europe’s last remaining lowland primeval forest and a World Heritage Site, during 1964–2007. There was substantial evidence for an advance in both first and peak flowering dates and flowering was closely related to temperature, which had risen substantially in this area. Similar advances have been reported from elsewhere, but typically from human-modified habitats. A comparison with contemporary data from the UK suggests that flowering was both later and less responsive in Poland. Examination of the data from the 2 countries over a wide range of temperatures hints at possible non-linear temperature responses; thus estimates of phenological change from linear regression may seriously underestimate changes which may occur in Białowieża in the future.

KEY WORDS: Flowering · Temperature response · Phenology · Poland · Primeval forest · Climate change

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Cite this article as: Sparks TH, Jaroszewicz B, Krawczyk M, Tryjanowski P (2009) Advancing phenology in Europe’s last lowland primeval forest: non-linear temperature response. Clim Res 39:221-226.

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