Synthesizing long-term phenology data: Perspectives across the International Long Term Ecological Research Network (ILTER)
Phenology is strongly linked with ecosystem structure, function, biogeochemical cycles and global climate change. A sensitive indicator of climate change, phenology has shifted in recent decades. But the magnitude and the complexity of this shift and the consequences to ecosystem structure and function as a whole are not well understood.
Long-term ecological research across the United States and across the world has accumulated rich phenological information at species, plot, ecosystem, and regional scales. However, numerous phenological data have yet to be revealed and synthesized. Two LTER ASM working groups on phenology have been convened, “Phenology: data, research, synthesis” in 2006 organized by Geoff Henebry and Doug Goodin, and “Coordinating Phenology Monitoring and Research Across the LTER Network” in 2009 organized by Mark Losleben and Jake Weltzin. "A White Paper on Phenology across LTER" has been published by Henebry et al. (2007). However, more solid synthesis products are required to use the existing phenological data and an international perspective should be extended across the International Long Term Ecological Research Network.
Sponsored by the LTER International Committee, this working group aims to establish a phenology network across U.S. LTER sites and across the ILTER sites, reveal existing phenological datasets, and discuss new insight, direction and suggestion for future synthesis research via retrospective analysis of existing long-term datasets and for recommending new data collection across the world. We expect to list a few synthesis topics and develop a plan to seek funding support to host workshops to conduct the synthesis activities.