Temperature alone does not explain phenological variation of diverse temperate plants under experimental warming

Marchin, R.M., Salk, C.F., Hoffmann, W.A., & Dunn, R.R. (2015). Temperature alone does not explain phenological variation of diverse temperate plants under experimental warming. Global Change Biology 21 (8) 3138-3151. 10.1111/gcb.12919.

Full text not available from this repository.


Anthropogenic climate change has altered temperate forest phenology, but how these trends will play out in the future is controversial. We measured the effect of experimental warming of 0.6-5.0 degrees C on the phenology of a diverse suite of 11 plant species in the deciduous forest understory (Duke Forest, North Carolina, USA) in a relatively warm year (2011) and a colder year (2013). Our primary goal was to dissect how temperature affects timing of spring budburst, flowering, and autumn leaf coloring for functional groups with different growth habits, phenological niches, and xylem anatomy. Warming advanced budburst of six deciduous woody species by 5-15 days and delayed leaf coloring by 18-21 days, resulting in an extension of the growing season by as much as 20-29 days. Spring temperature accumulation was strongly correlated with budburst date, but temperature alone cannot explain the diverse budburst responses observed among plant functional types. Ring-porous trees showed a consistent temperature response pattern across years, suggesting these species are sensitive to photoperiod. Conversely, diffuse-porous species responded differently between years, suggesting winter chilling may be more important in regulating budburst. Budburst of the ring-porous 'Quercus alba' responded nonlinearly to warming, suggesting evolutionary constraints may limit changes in phenology, and therefore productivity, in the future. Warming caused a divergence in flowering times among species in the forest community, resulting in a longer flowering season by 10-16 days. Temperature was a good predictor of flowering for only four of the seven species studied here. Observations of interannual temperature variability overpredicted flowering responses in spring-blooming species, relative to our warming experiment, and did not consistently predict even the direction of flowering shifts. Experiments that push temperatures beyond historic variation are indispensable for improving predictions of future changes in phenology.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: budburst; leaf senescence; growing season length; flowering; phenology; warming experiment; climate change; southeastern United States; temperature sensitivity
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Bibliographic Reference: Global Change Biology; 21(8):3138-3151 (August 2015) (Published online 12 May 2015)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:53
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:39
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/11415

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item