, Volume 52, Issue 7, pp 625-639
Date: 17 Apr 2008

Regional trends for bud burst and flowering of woody plants in Norway as related to climate change

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Abstract

Data series for bud burst, beginning of flowering and petal fall for 20 species of deciduous trees and conifers at four sites in different regions of southern Norway have been analysed and related to temperature series. On average, the spring phenophases occurred 7 days earlier during the period 1971–2005. The most significant linear trends were observed for the earliest phases. The trends in this period were compared with trends in other periods, the longest one starting in 1927. Those starting in cold decades and ending in 2005 were in most instances statistically significant, whereas hardly any significant trend appeared for series starting in warm decades. This fact showed that the results of trend studies are very sensitive to the choice of starting year. There were significant decadal variations in 40% of the series. The dates of occurrence of the phenophases, varying from the first days of May to the first days of June, correlated with seasonal temperature series, in most cases strongest to mean temperatures for the seasons March–May and April–May. The North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAOI) for January and February appeared to have some predictive power for the date of occurrence of the recorded phases. The basis for this may be that the oscillations described by the index are of importance for the fulfilment of physiological chilling requirements needed to break bud dormancy. The same genotypes of the trees were grown in region West Norway and in Central Norwegian region; during the period 1965–2005 the trends towards earlier bud burst were more pronounced and steeper at the western site.