, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 202-212
Date: 07 May 2003

The European Phenology Network

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Abstract

The analysis of changes in the timing of life cycle-events of organisms (phenology) has been able to contribute significantly to the assessment of potential impacts of climate change on ecology. These phenological responses of species to changes in climate are likely to have significant relevance for socio-economic issues such as agriculture, forestry and human health and have proven able to play a role in raising environmental awareness and education on climate change. This paper presents the European Phenology Network (EPN), which aims to increase the efficiency, added value and use of phenological monitoring and research, and to promote the practical use of phenological data in assessing the impact of global (climate) change and possible adaptation measures. The paper demonstrates that many disciplines have to deal with changes in the timing of life-cycle events in response to climate change and that many different user groups are involved. Furthermore, it shows how EPN addresses issues such as (1) raising public awareness and education, (2) the integration and co-operation of existing observing systems, (3) integration and access to phenological information and (4) communication.

Prepared in conjunction with the International Conference "The times they are a-changin". Climate change, phenological responses and their consequences for biodiversity, agriculture, forestry and human health, held in Wageningen, The Netherlands, 5–7 December 2001