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Male and female trees are responding differently to increasing temperatures

Tue, Mar 12, 2024

Dioecy, defined as distinctly male or female individuals in a species, is uncommon in plants, occurring in only about 5% of species. Consequently, our understanding of how this group of plants is being affected by climate change is limited. A group of researchers based at Purdue University in Indiana, USA asked two questions: 1) is the synchronicity in flowering in male and female trees changing? and 2) is the timing of leaf-out and flowering changing at different rates? The researchers found that male trees are advancing their flowering time at a greater rate than female trees. This is potentially bad news for these species; this pattern could reduce pollen transfer from male to female trees and negatively impact reproductive success in these trees. The researchers also found that flowering, which occurs before leaf-out in the species evaluated in this study, is advancing more rapidly than leaf-out. This finding is good news; the increasing temporal gap between flowing and leaf-out means less interference for the transfer of pollen from male to female trees.

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Phenology Week! March 18-22, 2024

Wed, Feb 07, 2024

March 18-22, 2024 is Phenology Week - a virtual celebration of the seasonal cycles of plants and animals! The purpose of Phenology Week is to celebrate YOU, our Nature's Notebook observers, Local Phenology Programs, and partners! We'll have webinars, awards, daily challenges, observer stories, and more!

Phenology Week Media Kit

Share Phenology Week Content on your social media! Our media kit contains daily activities to share with your community!

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Precise, local predictions of grassland bird nest timing

Thu, Nov 30, 2023

Grasslands are among the most disturbed ecosystems globally. In the areas that remain, managers must balance practices such as mowing and burning that maintain natural systems while avoiding nesting periods for grassland birds. The authors of this study used information about nest survival from scientific literature as well as climate information and the USA-NPN’s Spring Bloom Index to develop models to predict the expected nest departure timing for 36 grassland bird species. This information can provide more localized information about nesting timing to better time management actions to avoid this critical period.