East Asia

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Abstract

Modern phenological observation and research in China started in the 1920s with Dr. Kezhen Zhu (1890–1974), who may be regarded as the founder of modern Chinese phenology. As early as 1921 he observed spring phenophases of several trees and birds in Nanjing. In 1931, he summarized phenological knowledge from the last 3000 years in China. He also introduced phenological principles (e.g. species selection, criteria of phenological observations and phenological laws) developed in Europe and the United States from the middle of the eighteenth to the early twentieth century (Zhu 1931). In 1934, he organized and established the first phenological network in China. Observations of some 21 species of wild plants, 9 species of fauna, some crops, and several hydro-meteorological events ceased in 1937 because of the War of Resistance Against Japan (1937–1945). Twenty-five years later the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) established a countrywide phenological network under the guidance of Dr. Zhu. The observations began in 1963 and continued until 1996. Observations resumed in 2003, but with a reduced number of stations, species, and phenophases. In addition, the Chinese Meteorological Administration (CMA) established a countrywide phenological network in the 1980s.