Phenology is the study of recurring life-cycle events, classic examples being the flowering of plants and animal migration. Phenological responses are increasingly relevant for addressing applied environmental issues. Yet, challenges remain with respect to spanning scales of observation, integrating observations across taxa, and modeling phenological sequences to enable ecological forecasts in light of future climate change. Recent advances that are helping to address these questions include refined landscape-scale phenology estimates from satellite data, advanced, instrument-based approaches for field measurements, and new cyberinfrastructure for archiving and distribution of products. These breakthroughs are improving our understanding in diverse areas, including modeling land-surface exchange, evaluating climate–phenology relationships, and making land-management decisions.
Morrisette JT, Richardson AD, Knapp AK, Fisher JI, Graham EA, Abatzoglou JT, Wilson BE, Breshears DD, Henebry GM, Hanes JM, Liang L. 2009. Learning the rhythm of the seasons in the face of global change: phenological research in the 21st century. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 7(5): p 253–260. Doi10.1890/070217.