International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 60, Issue 10, pp 1589–1602 | Cite as

Response of deciduous trees spring phenology to recent and projected climate change in Central Lithuania

  • Romualdas Juknys
  • Arvydas Kanapickas
  • Irma Šveikauskaitė
  • Gintarė SujetovienėEmail author
Original Paper


The analysis of long-term time series of spring phenology for different deciduous trees species has shown that leaf unfolding for all the investigated species is the most sensitive to temperatures in March and April and illustrates that forcing temperature is the main driver of the advancement of leaf unfolding. Available chilling amount has increased by 22.5 % over the last 90 years, indicating that in the investigated geographical region there is no threat of chilling shortage. The projection of climatic parameters for Central Lithuania on the basis of three global circulation models has shown that under the optimistic climate change scenario (RCP 2.6) the mean temperature tends to increase by 1.28 °C and under the pessimistic scenario (RCP 8.5) by 5.03 °C until the end of the current century. Recently, different statistical models are used not only to analyze but also to project the changes in spring phenology. Our study has shown that when the data of long-term phenological observations are available, multiple regression models are suitable for the projection of the advancement of leaf unfolding under the changing climate. According to the RCP 8.5 scenario, the projected advancement in leaf unfolding for early-season species birch consists of almost 15 days as an average of all three used GSMs. Markedly less response to the projected far future (2071–2100), climate change is foreseen for other investigated climax species: −9 days for lime, 10 days for oak, and 11 days for maple.


Climate change Available chilling CMIP5 climate projections Leaf unfolding Projected advancement 


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Copyright information

© ISB 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Romualdas Juknys
    • 1
  • Arvydas Kanapickas
    • 1
  • Irma Šveikauskaitė
    • 1
  • Gintarė Sujetovienė
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesVytautas Magnus UniversityKaunasLithuania

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