Tuesday, August 7, 2007 - 4:40 PM

COS 41-10: A cross-taxa phenological dataset from Mohonk Lake, NY and its relationship to climate

Benjamin I. Cook1, Edward R. Cook2, Paul C. Huth3, John E. Thompson3, Anna Forster3, and Daniel Smiley3. (1) University of Virginia, (2) Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, (3) Mohonk Preserve

We present a detailed analysis of a rare, cross-taxa native species phenology dataset (plant flowering, insect emergence, and amphibian emergence) from Mohonk Lake, NY. This dataset represents the first of its kind in North America, in terms of both longevity of records, consistency of methodology, and diversity of species available. For each phenology series, we compare occurrence dates against cumulative growing degree-day summations for each day of the year. In this way we are able to generate correlation plots that highlight when each species begins to respond to environmental (climatic) forcing. All species show a high sensitivity to daily growing degree-day summations, although timing and strength of the correlations vary among species. In general, all species show consistent sensitivity to growing degree-day summations when the entire period of record (1928-2002) is compared to a shorter period (1970-2002) when the cross-taxa records overlap more completely. Very few species show significant trends toward either earlier or later occurrence dates because the trends in growing degree days and temperature are confined to the summer and winter seasons, when the phenological events documented here are less sensitive to the climate forcing.