Impact of climate extremes on wildlife plant flowering over Germany

Author(s): Siegmund, J.F., R.V. Donner, M. Wiedermann, J.F. Donges
In: Biogeosciences Discussions 12: 18389–18423
Year: 2015
Type: Journal / article
Theme affiliation: Patterns of the Anthropocene
Link to centre authors: Donges, Jonathan
Full reference: Siegmund, J.F., R.V. Donner, M. Wiedermann, J.F. Donges. 2015. Impact of climate extremes on wildlife plant flowering over Germany. Biogeosciences Discussions 12: 18389–18423.


Ongoing climate change is known to cause an increase in the frequency and amplitude of local temperature and precipitation extremes in many regions of the Earth. While gradual changes in the climatological conditions are known to strongly influence plant 5 flowering dates, the question arises if and how extremes specifically impact the timing of this important phenological phase.

In this study, we systematically quantify simultaneities between meteorological extremes and the timing of flowering of four shrub species across Germany by means of event coincidence analysis, a novel statistical tool that allows assessing whether or not two types of events exhibit similar sequences 10 of occurrences.

Our systematic investigation supports previous findings of experimental studies by highlighting the impact of early spring temperatures on the flowering of wildlife plants. In addition, we find statistically significant indications for some long-term relations reaching back to the previous year.


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