Using long-term data from a whole ecosystem warming experiment to identify best spring and autumn phenology models

Christina Schädel, Bijan Seyednasrollah, Paul J. Hanson, Koen Hufkens, Kyle J. Pearson, Jeffrey M. Warren, Andrew D. Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Predicting vegetation phenology in response to changing environmental factors is key in understanding feedbacks between the biosphere and the climate system. Experimental approaches extending the temperature range beyond historic climate variability provide a unique opportunity to identify model structures that are best suited to predicting phenological changes under future climate scenarios. Here, we model spring and autumn phenological transition dates obtained from digital repeat photography in a boreal Picea-Sphagnum bog in response to a gradient of whole ecosystem warming manipulations of up to +9°C, using five years of observational data. In spring, seven equally best-performing models for Larix utilized the accumulation of growing degree days as a common driver for temperature forcing. For Picea, the best two models were sequential models requiring winter chilling before spring forcing temperature is accumulated. In shrub, parallel models with chilling and forcing requirements occurring simultaneously were identified as the best models. Autumn models were substantially improved when a CO2 parameter was included. Overall, the combination of experimental manipulations and multiple years of observations combined with variation in weather provided the framework to rule out a large number of candidate models and to identify best spring and autumn models for each plant functional type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-200
Number of pages13
JournalPlant-Environment Interactions
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Akaike Information Criterion
  • CO
  • Larix laricina
  • Picea mariana
  • climate change
  • peatland
  • transition dates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Using long-term data from a whole ecosystem warming experiment to identify best spring and autumn phenology models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this