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Phenological stages of natural species and their use as climate indicators

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 The objectives of this paper are to: (1) present 10 years of phenological data for nine natural species growing in a Mediterranean-type climate, (2) present threshold temperatures that were derived for the computation of cumulative degree-days (CDD), and (3) evaluate the sensitivity of the nine natural species to weather variability. The study was conducted at the Phenological Research Garden of Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, during the period 1986–96. The observations were made on five typical Mediterranean species and four species that are typical of higher latitudes. The mean annual pattern of phenological events and the CDD from 1 January are given for each development stage. Temperature thresholds were evaluated by comparing the standard deviation about the mean number of days in the development period for each species. A good relationship between timing of phenophase occurrence and temperature was observed for the Mediterranean species, which were little affected by variations in rainfall. Phenological development of the non-native species was affected by springtime rainfall.

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Accepted: 28 October 1998

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Spano, D., Cesaraccio, C., Duce, P. et al. Phenological stages of natural species and their use as climate indicators. Int J Biometeorol 42, 124–133 (1999).

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